Iran TV shows film of missing nuclear scientist `in Tucson`
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Last Updated: Tuesday, June 08, 2010, 10:55
  
Tehran: Iranian television screened footage it said was of nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri, who in the four-minute clip confirmed claims by Tehran that he was kidnapped by US agents.

In the film, the man identified by the Irib channel as Amiri, said he was now "in the city of Tucson, Arizona" in the United States.

The television yesterday said Iranian intelligence services obtained the film "by special methods" without elaborating.

Press TV, an Iranian television channel in English, carried a similar report, saying that Amiri insisted in the message that he was kidnapped by US agents en route to Mecca in June 2009.

Amiri stated that his abduction was intended to mount political pressure on the Iranian government.

ABC news in the United States reported in March that Amiri, an Iranian nuclear physicist in his early 30s who disappeared in June 2009 after arriving in Saudi Arabia on a pilgrimage, had defected and was working with the CIA.

Iranian officials have long maintained that Amiri was abducted from Saudi Arabia by US agents while on pilgrimage to the Muslim holy places.

The ABC report said that US agents described the defection as "an intelligence coup" in efforts to undermine Iran's controversial nuclear programme.

Amiri's disappearance "was part of a long-planned CIA operation to get him to defect," ABC reported.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in April that "existing evidence" indicates Amiri is the United States.

The United States has pressed hard for tougher international efforts to rein in Iran's nuclear programme, amid Western suspicions it is cover for a weapons drive.

Tehran insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful and designed to meet medical research and domestic energy needs.

The UN Security Council was to meet later Monday to discuss a package of new nuclear-related sanctions against Iran, a UN spokesman said.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, June 08, 2010, 10:55


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