Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Amiri Turns UP in Washington

Shahram Amiri, an Iranian scientist who vanished more than a year ago during a pilgrimage to Mecca, turned up in Washington today saying he had been kidnapped by the United States and was held against his will.

Iran’s state-owned Press TV quoted Amiri as saying that his “kidnapping was a disgraceful act by the US" [Press TV, 13 JULY].

In March, ABC News reported that Amiri had defected and was helping the CIA with information on Iran’s nuclear program.

Amiri walked in the Iranian Interest Section in Washington, DC. Amiri had previously made a number of videos, some posted on YouTube, accusing the US of kidnapping him and holding him imprisoned. It was not clear how a kidnapped and imprisoned Iranian could walk freely into his country’s official representative office in Washington or make those videotapes and post them on YouTube.

Press TV said Amiri was escorted to the Iranian Interest Section by armed US agents. The assertion immediately gave rise to speculations that Amiri was being swapped for the three American hikers in Iranian custody. The speculation grew stronger later in the day when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton contrasted Amiri’s situation with that of the three Americans. Clinton added, however, that Amiri has been in the US “of his own free will” and is free to go.


Anonymous said...

This is the biggest embarassment for US "intelligence" since the cold war. Iran has scored a big PR coup thanks to US ineptitude and arrogance.

Anonymous said...

This is simply a very strange story all around.

Anonymous said...

Amiri's debrief will make an interesting movie and shed a lot of light on US-Saudi nexus in this bizarre episode.

Anonymous said...

How does an Iranian national enter the US without a visa? He was either granted a visa or the visa requirement somehow did not apply to him. Either way, this is a special circumstance applied by the US government.

So how did this "special circumstance" turn out adversely? That's really the interesting part of the story.

Nader Uskowi said...

An Iranian national cannot enter the US without a visa. Amiri must have entered the US with the approval of the authorities. If he was indeed a nuclear scientist asking US authorities in Saudi Arabia to visit the US, the US intelligence would have approved such request. It could well be that he did not have much information to share, and he was not ready and got cold feet under interrogations. This is a developing story and we will follow it up.

Anonymous said...

Whatever the case, This round goes to Iran.

Nahid / Hamburg