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The Strange Case of Shahram Amiri

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    started a topic The Strange Case of Shahram Amiri

    The Strange Case of Shahram Amiri

    Perhaps you have heard of Shahram Amiri, the Iranian scientist who may or may not have defected to the U.S. a year ago and now has returned to Iran amid charges that he was kidnapped and tortured by the CIA. For those not following the details of this still-unfolding story, or simply confused by them, here is a brief recap.

    In June of 2009, while on a pilgrimage to Islamic holy sites in Saudi Arabia, Shahram Amiri disappeared. The U.S. has a standing offer to Iranian nuclear scientists of five millions dollars (payable over time) and a new identity if they will defect, and rumor has it we have had several takers on the offer. Amiri, according to the CIA, was one of them, a voluntary “walk-in” who, it is said, provided considerable information about the state of the Iranian nuclear program, possibly including secret facilities not known of in the west.

    Things started getting weird, however. Not long after Amiri “came in.” He reportedly* showed no interest in collecting the five million dollars in reward money and in the last couple months started posting YouTube videos claiming he was kidnapped and tortured by the CIA. Last Tuesday he showed up at the Pakistani embassy in Washington DC, sought refuge there, and announced his desire to return to Iran.

    Our government was clearly caught off-balance by this. The State Department pronounced him free to go, but seemed confused when asked about the background of his arrival here. He came to study, they said. Oh? ...




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