DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An Iranian nuclear scientist who claimed he slipped away from his CIA captors has not been seen publicly since his heroic return to Tehran last year and could be facing an investigation as a possible turncoat, according to an opposition website.
The report on the website Iranbriefing.net says that Shahram Amiri is now being held in a Tehran prison, where he allegedly has faced beatings so severe that he had to be hospitalized for a week.
The website’s account could not be verified, but it purports to offer the first details on Amiri’s fate since he surfaced in the United States six months ago amid an array of contradictory stories between Tehran and Washington.
Amiri’s return to Tehran in July was portrayed by Iranian authorities as a propaganda coup.
The nuclear scientist claimed he was kidnapped by American agents in May 2009 while on a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. Iran’s state media said Amiri had snubbed a fortune in payoffs by his purported CIA captors and then escaped with inside information about America’s covert operations against Tehran. Officials said a TV movie was in the works.
U.S. officials, however, say Amiri willingly cooperated and had been paid a total of $5 million by the CIA for “significant” information about Iran’s nuclear program.
Amiri turned up in Washington at the Iranian Interest Section at the Pakistan Embassy after a series of baffling videos that presented contradic… >>>