Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri’s very public appearance at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington DC has quickly boiled down to a battle of official narratives, with US officials trying to battle growing evidence of his kidnapping with a completely alternative storyline.
Amiri has detailed his own story, of course, which begins with him being abducted at gunpoint from the streets of Saudi Arabia and spending a year in CIA custody, where the US spy group offered him $50 million to make up stories about Iran’s civilian nuclear program.
The US claims began with reports that they had gotten “useful information” from him, but has spiraled into elaborate claims that Amiri was a “CIA mole” who had been helping the US for years before his sudden disappearance. They then went on to claim that they “relocated” him for his own safety.
If this was true, however, it sparks even more questions about why Amiri, who US officials once maintained was “just visiting” the United States, felt the need to flee to the Pakistani Embassy for help in returning to Iran, and why he would want to return in the first place.
In that respect CIA officials predict that Amiri will spend the rest of his life in fear, and that sooner or later the Iranian government will kill him as a “traitor.” This throws even more doubts into the US claims of him as a mole, however, as if he really were a trusted CIA asset one would assume US officials would not have spent much of the week trying so hard to portray him as one in public, particularly if they believed it would get him killed.