News / Middle East

US Denies Kidnapping Iranian Nuclear Scientist

A video posted on You Tube shows a man identified as Shahram Amiri, a nuclear scientist from Iran, 7 Jun 2010
A video posted on You Tube shows a man identified as Shahram Amiri, a nuclear scientist from Iran, 7 Jun 2010

The United States has denied kidnapping a missing Iranian nuclear scientist, who Iran alleges is being held against his will in Tucson, Arizona.

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Tuesday the United states is not behind the kidnapping of Shahram Amiri and cannot attest to the authenticity of video showing the nuclear scientist in Arizona.

Meanwhile, the Iranian government has summoned the Swiss ambassador in Tehran and handed over documents that it says will confirm the abduction.

An Iranian Foreign Ministry official told the Swiss ambassador Tuesday that the U.S. is responsible for Amiri's safety.  The Swiss embassy represents U.S. interests in Iran because Tehran and Washington do not have diplomatic relations.

Iranian state television aired a video of a man identified as Amiri saying he was kidnapped by Saudi and U.S. intelligence services in Medina, Saudi Arabia, and tortured in the U.S.

However, a video posted on the website You Tube Monday shows a man identified as Amiri saying he is safe and secure in the United States.

The man in the video says he came to the U.S. to continue academic studies in health-related physics.  He is sitting comfortably in a room that appears to be an office or study.

The man says he is not interested in the weaponry field and is speaking on the video in order to put an end to rumors that he has been involved in "wrongdoings" against Iran.

Amiri, a nuclear physicist in his 30s, went missing in June 2009.  A few months later, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said investigators had obtained documents that showed what he called "U.S. interference" in his disappearance.

Earlier this year, the U.S. television network ABC said Amiri had defected to the U.S. to help the Central Intelligence Agency.  

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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