News / Middle East

Nuclear Scientist Receives Hero's Welcome in Iran

TEXT SIZE - +


Iranian researcher Shahram Amiri arrived home in Tehran Thursday to a hero's welcome, amid further allegations that he had been abducted by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) -- a claim that Washington strenuously denies.   He had spent more than a year in the United States, at one point saying in a video posting that he was studying in Arizona of "his own volition."

Iranian government television has played a series of webcam interviews with him in recent weeks, each containing new and conflicting tales about his alleged abduction in Saudi Arabia, last year.

Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denied the charges, saying that he was "free to leave," as he had been "free to come," in the first place.

Torture allegations

At a news conference Thursday, in the company of Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Qashghavi, Amiri repeated allegations he had made before leaving Washington.

He says that, during his initial two months in the United States, he had been subjected to harsh mental and physical torture by agents and interrogators from the CIA.  He goes on to claim that the purpose of his alleged abduction was to discredit Iran and its nuclear program.

Kidnapping story

During an interview with Iranian TV from the Pakistani Embassy in Washington Tuesday, Amiri alleged that he had been kidnapped in the Saudi city, Medina, after accepting a ride to a mosque.  He also claimed to have been given an injection, before being flown out of the country.

In his news conference, Amiri spoke of being interrogated by "Israeli agents".  He also said U.S. agents urged him to announce he was in possession of a laptop that contained important information.  He kept the rest of his story vague, promising to reveal more information, later.

He says that, God willing, he will prove everything he has said and prove that it is American officials who are lying.

Iranian position

Iranian officials have repeatedly complained, during the past year, that Amiri had been kidnapped while on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.  Amiri's case also came up frequently when the United States pressed Iran about the capture and detention of three young American hikers in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Deputy Foreign Minister Qashghavi insisted Thursday that the two cases are not related.

Family pressure?

Several Iranian commentators, who live in exile in the West, argued Wednesday on al Arabiya TV that Amiri's family had come under pressure from the government and had been threatened with an "ugly fate" if he did not return home.

Thursday's Washington Post reports several American officials say Amiri had been paid $5 million to provide information to the United States on Iran's nuclear program.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid