An Iranian scientist who says he was abducted a year ago by US agents has said that the United States wanted him to confess to being a spy as part of a plan to get three Americans released by Iran.
Shahram Amiri said on Saturday that he was also pressured to lie about Iran’s nuclear programme.
In an interview with Iran’s state television, Amiri said he was presented with fake nuclear documents by US officials who asked him to publicly claim that he had brought them to the US from Iran.
“They said ‘if you say that you are an agent of the Iranian intelligence services, the US can swap you as a spy who has been arrested in a foreign country with the three [American] spies who were arrested near the Iraqi border inside Iran.”
“I totally trusted the Islamic Republic and the Republic was confident that I was not defecting to the US,” he said during the interview.
Amiri, who claims he was abducted in Saudi Arabia by the CIA 14 months ago, returned to Tehran, the capital of Iran, on Wednesday.
But US officials deny kidnapping Amiri and insist he was living freely in the United States.