IRAN: Officials reject rebel group’s claim of kidnapping nuclear scientist

But the story may turn out to be more like a tale from filmmakers the Coen brothers than an espionage thriller. Iranian authorities say the man who was kidnapped, Amir-Hossein Shirvani, is not a nuclear scientist, rather a laborer who was fired from a nuclear facility in Isfahan four years ago.

Iran-jundollah “Amir-Hossein Shirvani worked as a welder and later as a driver in one of the contractor companies of the AEOI for a short time,” Iranian Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Hamid Khadem-Qaemi said Saturday, according to the website of Iran’s state-owned Press TV.

Another Iranian official, Mohammad Mehdi Esmaili, told Iran’s Fars news agency that Shirvani was running smuggling operations along the eastern Iranian border and that the kidnapping was over a business dispute. Iran considers Jundollah a terrorist organization.

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