Iran missing scientist says he escaped U.S. agents

(Reuters) – Iran’s state television aired what it said was footage of a missing nuclear scientist on Tuesday, the third video to emerge in weeks giving conflicting accounts of the fate of a man Tehran says was kidnapped by the CIA.

Shahram Amiri, a university researcher working for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, disappeared during a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia a year ago and Tehran accused Riyadh of handing him over to the United States, which Saudi Arabia has denied.

Earlier this month Iranian television showed a first video of a man it said was Amiri. In the footage, Amiri said he had been kidnapped, taken to the United States and tortured.

However shortly after that footage, a second video appeared on the Internet, also purporting to be Amiri, in which he said he was actually studying in the United States.

In Tuesday’s video, the man described as Amiri said he had fled from U.S. “agents” and was in hiding. He rejected the Internet footage as “a sheer lie,” and urged human rights groups to help him return to Iran. “Minutes ago I managed to escape American security agents in the state of Virginia. I am now in a safe place making this video,” the man purporting to be Amiri said in the latest film. “I could be arrested again by American security agents any minute … I am not free here and I do not have permission to contact my family or others and if anything happens to me or if I do not return to (my) country, the American government is dir… >>>

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