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'NY Times' Says Iran Scientist Worked For CIA For Years


Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri, with his son, addresses journalists on his arrival at Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran on July 15.

Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri, with his son, addresses journalists on his arrival at Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran on July 15.

"The New York Times" has reported that Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri, who claims he was abducted by the CIA more than a year ago and taken to the United States, was an informant for CIA inside Iran for years.

The paper quotes unnamed U.S. officials as saying Amiri provided details of how a university in Tehran became the covert headquarters for Iran's nuclear program.

The article quotes one as saying Amiri gave "significant, original" information about secret aspects of Iran's nuclear program.

Amiri arrived in Tehran on July 15 saying he was taken by the CIA from Saudi Arabia against his will and that while he was held in the United States he had been put under "intense psychological pressure" to cooperate.

He said Israeli agents had been present during his interrogations.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki was quoted by "The Independent" as saying the government would wait until it knew "what has happened over these past two years, and afterward we will see if [Amiri] will be considered a hero."

Amiri appeared in at least four videos posted during the past year that made varying assertions over his situation, and his mysterious appearance at the Iranian interests section of the Pakistani Embassy in Washington and subsequent departure for Iran have left many questions unanswered.

The U.S. State Department has said Amiri was in the U.S. of his own free will, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton contrasted Amiri's situation with that of three U.S. nationals accused of spying by Iran who are still in custody in that country. The U.S. has repeatedly rejected that allegation of espionage.

"The Guardian" has quoted Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Qashqavi, who welcomed Amiri back to the country, as "denying any link to a possible swap deal" for those detained Americans.

compiled from Reuters reports
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