Iran TV shows film of missing nuclear scientist `in Tucson`

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 8, 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 8, 2010 - 10:55

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