Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri has reportedly returned home to Tehran tonight, following an apparently extremely eventful 14 month disappearance, during which he claims to have been abducted by US intelligence agents.
But on his way out of the United States he detailed his kidnapping at gunpoint from the streets of Saudi Arabia, which he had visited for the Hajj. He says he was knocked unconscious and when he awoke he was on a plane to the United States.
US officials have denied the allegations and insist that Amiri was “just visiting” the United States, and State Department officials have acted confused about why Amiri was even attempting to leave, though they insisted he was welcome to do so.
On the other hand, officials have told Reuters anonymously that the US got “useful information” from Amiri, and another suggested that he was paid $5 million for his “services,” but they did not comment at all on what that information was or how Amiri wound up in the United States, let alone how he managed to escape from the CIA and make his way to the Pakistani embassy in Washington DC.
Iran for its part seems eager to grant Amiri a heroes welcome, and Iranian officials say they intend to pursue their investigations of Amiri’s apparent abduction during his pilgrimmage to Saudi Arabia.