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  • Shahram Amiri: International Man of Mystery

    Shahram Amiri, an Iranian nuclear scientist who defected last year to the United States, headed back to Iran this week, after apparently deciding to re-defect. Amiri, who disappeared last year during a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, surfaced Monday night at the Iranian interest section of the Pakistani Embassy in Washington. Before flying back to Iran, Amiri told state-run Iranian television that “my kidnapping was a disgraceful act for America…. I was under enormous psychological pressure and supervision of armed agents in the past 14 months.”

    U.S. officials strongly deny Amiri’s charges and point out that, if he had been held against his will, he would not have been able to release a series of bizarre and contradictory videotapes on YouTubein recent months. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “He came to this country freely, he lived here freely, and he has chosen freely to return to Iran. The United States, to be sure, isn’t standing in his way. He himself gives the lie to the idea he was tortured or imprisoned. He can tell any story he wants—but that won’t make it true.” U.S. officials revealed that Amiri was paid more than five million dollars for his information on Iran’s nuclear program, which is an unlikely windfall for a victim of a kidnapping.

    David Ignatius, a Washington Post columnist with extensive contacts in the intelligence world, reported yesterday that Amiri made contact with the CIA long before his reported defection in June 2009. Ignatius wrote that: “One mystery is why Amiri decided to defect without his young wife and child, leaving them—and himself —vulnerable to Iranian pressure.”

    Iran’s repressive regime long has used harsh tactics to intimidate opposition leaders and political dissidents, such as threatening to punish their families for their actions. Iranian exiles overseas have reported that they have been harassed and threatened in phone calls by members of the Iranian intelligence services or Revolutionary Guards.

    Such threats, or perhaps personal disillusionment over the prospect of living alone so far from his family, may have broken Amiri’s will and induced him to return to Iran. Twenty-five years ago, a Russian defector made a similar decision to re-defect and walked away from his handlers in a restaurant a few blocks away from the Pakistani Embassy building where Amiri surfaced. Vitaly Yurchenko, a defector from the Soviet KGB intelligence agency, later claimed that he had been kidnapped, drugged, and held against his will by the U.S. government. Amiri, who has made similar claims, now appears to be following the same game plan and is likely to soon make himself useful to Iran’s thuggish regime in its ongoing propaganda war with the United States.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Shahram Amiri: International Man of Mystery

    1. West Texan says:

      This guy has demonstrated no real allegiance to Iran but obviously fears the Iranian regime for himself and his family. His slam on America appears more to be a form of prostration before cruel dictatorial rulers. Reminds me of those videos showing Saddam's thugs escorting party members out one by one never to be seen again. Officials lucky enough to survive the ordeal quickly jumped on-board the accusatory bandwagon giving praise to their malevolent leader.

    2. John, St. Louis says:

      Why are we harboring them so they can leave? Why are we being so "lite" on this stuff? Let us be done with it.

      What has solved more unrest than anything else in history? Shear force.

      What is second to "Shear force" over everything else in history? Possession of force.

      Get it. Maintain it. Use as needed.

      If you haven't been in the 'stuff', don't judge those of us who have!

      A comment from a service connected disabled veteran.

    3. danny roberts says:

      my opinion as i watch this we're playing around in Irac and Afganastan

      putting our young people at risk of injury and death,for what?

      the whole world must be laughing at us. they know we could end these wars in no time at all, if we wanted to.

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