The defection of an Iranian nuclear scientist to the United States means operations against the regime’s nuclear program are bearing fruit, says Reza Aslan.
It sounds like the plot to a pulp spy novel. An Iranian nuclear scientist disappears while on a trip abroad. For months, no one hears from him, until he suddenly resurfaces in the United States, a defector with valuable information about Iran’s nuclear program.
Last June, just before the Iranian regime was to be occupied with the massive demonstrations that erupted in the wake of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reelection, a 30-year-old junior staff member of Iran’s Atomic Agency named Shahram Amiri traveled to Saudi Arabia to take part in the annual Hajj pilgrimage. According to reports, Amiri was detained at the airport in Jeddah and rigorously questioned by Saudi security. After a few hours, he was released. A couple of days later, he made a phone call to his family from the city of Medina, the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad and one of the first stops for pilgrims during the Hajj festivities. That was the last anyone heard from Shahram Amiri.
Almost immediately after his disappearance, the Iranian government accused the United States of kidnapping Amiri. Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told a reporter for Press TV that his country had evidence the U.S. had conspired with Saudi Arabia to abduct the young scientist, who apparently had close ties to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards throug… >>>