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Professor of nuclear physics killed in bomb blast in Tehran
#1
From http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-w...4201.story:
Quote: By Borzou Daragahi and Ramin Mostaghim January 12, 2010 | 12:25 a.m.




Reporting from Beirut and Tehran - An Iranian man described by officials as a nuclear scientist and university professor was killed in a bomb blast this morning in Tehran, officials told state media.

Massoud Ali-Mohammadi died in an explosion set off near his home in the upscale district of Qeytarieh in the north of the capital at about 7:30 a.m. local time.

The website of Iran's state-controlled Press TV reported he was killed by a booby-trapped motorcycle. But the hard-line Fars news agency, close to the Revolutionary Guard, said a remote-controlled bomb was set in a trash bin outside his house.

Tehran's chief prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dowlatabadi described Mohammadi as a nuclear scientist. Fars described him as a professor at Tehran University, though he is not among the scholars listed on the institution's website.

Jafari-Dowlatabadi told the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency that forensic experts were conducting post-mortem exams. No suspect has been arrested, he told the agency.

Iranian officials immediately suggested the nation's foreign rivals had a hand in his slaying.

State television described Ali-Mohammadi as a "committed and revolutionary university professor martyred in a terrorist operation by counterrevolutionary agents affiliated with the global arrogance" while Press TV described a "staunch supporter of the Islamic Revolution."

Arabic language Al Jazeera television cited unnamed Iranian sources as saying, "Israel is behind assassinating" Ali-Mohammadi.

Iran's top diplomat last month accused the United States -- and Saudi Arabia on Tuesday -- of kidnapping one of its nuclear scientists. Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said that Shahram Amiri, who worked for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, disappeared during a summer religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

He said Tehran had evidence that the U.S. was involved in the disappearance.

Iran's nuclear program has alarmed the West and Israel, which accuse Tehran of using civilian atomic research program to mask an ultimate plan to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Several rounds of sanctions have failed to push Iranians into giving up sensitive aspects of their nuclear program, which they insist is entirely peaceful.
The blaming of Israel seems to come naturally in this case...
The most relevant literature regarding what happened since September 11, 2001 is George Orwell's "1984".
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#2
Certainly they are the obvious beneficiary. I don't think the US/UK or SA is too unhappy either. Some one is playing hard ball. I wonder how the nuclear scientists feel in other countries? There may be tit for tat.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#3
Magda Hassan Wrote:Certainly they are the obvious beneficiary. I don't think the US/UK or SA is too unhappy either. Some one is playing hard ball. I wonder how the nuclear scientists feel in other countries? There may be tit for tat.

Never a 'pretty' world [the human part], it seems to get very ugly lately and the axis of evil is firmly in the US-UK-IS, sadly. Other ugly players, IMO, are being reactive [defensive], while the named axis of evil above offensive, proactive against enemies of their own creation and against moral and international law.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
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#4
The story of the other iranian nuclear scientist mentioned, Shahram Amiri, is also interesting. Obviously french and german services were involved as well as the usual suspects:
(From the Telegraph)
Quote: Shahram Amiri briefed United Nations nuclear monitors in a clandestine meeting at Frankfurt airport just hours before they flew to Iran to inspect a hidden uranium enrichment plant, according to French intelligence sources.
An award-winning atomic physicist, Mr Amiri had worked at the heavily-guarded underground site at Qom. He was attached to a Tehran university named by the EU last year as part of the regime's nuclear-proliferation operations.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was told of the existence of the Qom facility by the US and its European allies in September. But the meeting with Mr Amiri in October would have provided inspectors with key insider knowledge before they made the sensitive trip.
The scientist is the focus of an extraordinary international row stretching from the Gulf to Washington after Iran last week accused Saudi Arabia and the US of "terrorist behaviour" for allegedly colluding in his abduction.
The nuclear scientist, who is in his 30s, disappeared after arriving in in Saudi Arabia for a pilgrimage in late May, leaving behind his wife and extended family. The Saudi authorities say they do not know where he is.
But contrary to Iranian claims, Mr Amiri actually defected after an elaborate international cloak-and-dagger co-ordinated by the CIA, according to a well-connected French intelligence analysis website.
"The agency made contact with the scientist last year when Amiri visited Frankfurt in connection with his research work," Intelligence Online reported. "A German businessman acted as go-between. A final contact was made in Vienna when Amiri travelled to Austria to assist the Iranian representative at the IAEA. Shortly afterwards, the scientist went on pilgrimage to Mecca and hasn't been seen since."
The vanishing act was reminiscent of Cold War days between the Soviet Union and the West when spies - often scientists and diplomats - were spirited away in plots just as outlandish as any John le Carré thriller.
Heads have rolled at Iran's nuclear counter-espionage agency since his loss, and the foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, raised his case in a private meeting with the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon.
The Islamic republic has now linked the fate of three American hikers detained in Iran since July with a list of Iranian citizens, including Mr Amiri, who Tehran alleges are being held by the US. It appears to be proposing some form of trade in talks with Swiss intermediaries.
Officially, the US says it has no information on Mr Amiri's whereabouts, but the scientist is now believed to be in Europe, protected by a Western intelligence agency, in a CIA-led operation. He will be debriefed intensively by experts - who will also want to ensure that he is not an Iranian plant.
Four months after Mr Amiri disappeared, President Barack Obama, flanked by Gordon Brown and the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, disclosed that Iran had built the buried uranium enrichment plant near the holy city of Qom.
Western intelligence had developed information about the site over threee years.
But Mr Amiri's intelligence about its inner workings - and especially security procedures - proved "extremely useful", a source close to France's overseas secret service, the DGSE (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure), told The Sunday Telegraph.
"Amiri has first hand knowledge of the site and this would have been the main subject of discussion," the source said. "The meeting was so secret that the inspectors who met Amiri were unlikely to have even known his name, let alone his background. He was just presented as a bona fide contact in the know about how Qom works."
French agents party to details of the Frankfurt meeting paint a picture of Amiri as one of the brightest young nuclear physicists of his generation, westernised and a good English-speaker.
"He would be an obvious conduit of information," said a source. "Why would the Iranians show four UN inspectors everything unless they knew what to ask for?"
The CIA launched a secret programme, dubbed "the Brain Drain", in 2005 designed to undermine Iran's nuclear programme by persuading key officials to defect. In the biggest previous coup, Revolutionary Guards general Ali Reza Asgari, the deputy defence mnister, vanished on a trip to Turkey in 2007.
The most relevant literature regarding what happened since September 11, 2001 is George Orwell's "1984".
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#5
Yes, it is interesting Carsten. I expect the dead professor was also asked (requested? demanded? threatened?) to defect and maybe said "No."
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#6
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8455593.stm
The BBC are saying that the professor was not a nuclear scientist but was an Iranian opposition supporter. Murkier and murkier. Even if he is, and it is a big if, it may still be a western operation but now it doesn't preclude Iranian involvement. Smoke and mirrors.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#7
Carsten Wiethoff Wrote:The story of the other iranian nuclear scientist mentioned, Shahram Amiri, is also interesting. Obviously french and german services were involved as well as the usual suspects:
(From the Telegraph)
Quote: Shahram Amiri briefed United Nations nuclear monitors in a clandestine meeting at Frankfurt airport just hours before they flew to Iran to inspect a hidden uranium enrichment plant, according to French intelligence sources.
An award-winning atomic physicist, Mr Amiri had worked at the heavily-guarded underground site at Qom. He was attached to a Tehran university named by the EU last year as part of the regime's nuclear-proliferation operations.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was told of the existence of the Qom facility by the US and its European allies in September. But the meeting with Mr Amiri in October would have provided inspectors with key insider knowledge before they made the sensitive trip.
The scientist is the focus of an extraordinary international row stretching from the Gulf to Washington after Iran last week accused Saudi Arabia and the US of "terrorist behaviour" for allegedly colluding in his abduction.
The nuclear scientist, who is in his 30s, disappeared after arriving in in Saudi Arabia for a pilgrimage in late May, leaving behind his wife and extended family. The Saudi authorities say they do not know where he is.
But contrary to Iranian claims, Mr Amiri actually defected after an elaborate international cloak-and-dagger co-ordinated by the CIA, according to a well-connected French intelligence analysis website.
"The agency made contact with the scientist last year when Amiri visited Frankfurt in connection with his research work," Intelligence Online reported. "A German businessman acted as go-between. A final contact was made in Vienna when Amiri travelled to Austria to assist the Iranian representative at the IAEA. Shortly afterwards, the scientist went on pilgrimage to Mecca and hasn't been seen since."
The vanishing act was reminiscent of Cold War days between the Soviet Union and the West when spies - often scientists and diplomats - were spirited away in plots just as outlandish as any John le Carré thriller.
Heads have rolled at Iran's nuclear counter-espionage agency since his loss, and the foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, raised his case in a private meeting with the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon.
The Islamic republic has now linked the fate of three American hikers detained in Iran since July with a list of Iranian citizens, including Mr Amiri, who Tehran alleges are being held by the US. It appears to be proposing some form of trade in talks with Swiss intermediaries.
Officially, the US says it has no information on Mr Amiri's whereabouts, but the scientist is now believed to be in Europe, protected by a Western intelligence agency, in a CIA-led operation. He will be debriefed intensively by experts - who will also want to ensure that he is not an Iranian plant.
Four months after Mr Amiri disappeared, President Barack Obama, flanked by Gordon Brown and the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, disclosed that Iran had built the buried uranium enrichment plant near the holy city of Qom.
Western intelligence had developed information about the site over threee years.
But Mr Amiri's intelligence about its inner workings - and especially security procedures - proved "extremely useful", a source close to France's overseas secret service, the DGSE (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure), told The Sunday Telegraph.
"Amiri has first hand knowledge of the site and this would have been the main subject of discussion," the source said. "The meeting was so secret that the inspectors who met Amiri were unlikely to have even known his name, let alone his background. He was just presented as a bona fide contact in the know about how Qom works."
French agents party to details of the Frankfurt meeting paint a picture of Amiri as one of the brightest young nuclear physicists of his generation, westernised and a good English-speaker.
"He would be an obvious conduit of information," said a source. "Why would the Iranians show four UN inspectors everything unless they knew what to ask for?"
The CIA launched a secret programme, dubbed "the Brain Drain", in 2005 designed to undermine Iran's nuclear programme by persuading key officials to defect. In the biggest previous coup, Revolutionary Guards general Ali Reza Asgari, the deputy defence mnister, vanished on a trip to Turkey in 2007.
Missing Iranian scientist appears at embassy in US

Page last updated at 14:24 GMT, Tuesday, 13 July 2010 15:24 UK



[Image: _48024229_iran0806_amiri_466.jpg] Conflicting videos have deepened the mystery as to Mr Amiri's whereabouts A missing Iranian nuclear scientist, who Tehran says was kidnapped a year ago by the CIA, has taken refuge in the Iran section of Pakistan's US embassy.
A spokesman from Pakistan's Foreign Office, Abdul Basit, told the BBC that Shahram Amiri was seeking immediate repatriation to Iran.
In June videos purportedly of Mr Amiri but containing contradictory information on his whereabouts emerged.
The US rejected Tehran's claims that it was behind Mr Amiri's disappearance.
Iranian media say Mr Amiri worked as a researcher at a university in Tehran, but some reports say he worked for the country's atomic energy organisation and had in-depth knowledge of its controversial nuclear programme.
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Two videos supposedly showing Shahram Amiri emerged on 8 June

ABC News reported in March that he had defected and was helping the CIA, revealing valuable information about the Iranian nuclear programme.
But earlier this month, Tehran said it had proof he was being held in the US.
The allegation came after three videos purportedly of Mr Amiri emerged - the first said he had been kidnapped, the second that he was living freely in Arizona, and the third that he had escaped from his captors.
Diplomatic standoff
The BBC's former correspondent in Tehran, Jon Leyne, says that Iran's version of the story seems to be backed up by events unfolding in Washington DC.
Our correspondent says Mr Amiri's sudden appearance is a major embarrassment for the American spy agencies and could lead to a diplomatic stand-off.
Analysis

Continue reading the main story [Image: _48192936_jon_leyne.jpg] Jon Leyne,
Former BBC Tehran correspondent
There are two diametrically opposed versions of the Shahram Amiri story. Iran says he was kidnapped. American sources said that he defected and was spilling the beans on the Iranian nuclear programme.
On the face of it, the Iranian version now sounds a lot more credible. However those inclined to give the US the benefit of the doubt will point out that it is still conceivable that Mr Amiri was persuaded, blackmailed, or even conceivably kidnapped by the Iranians themselves back into their hands.
Either way this is a big embarrassment for the American spy agencies, who have let slip a man they had been building up as a major catch.
Profile: Shahram Amiri
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has confirmed reports that Mr Amiri had asked to be repatriated to Iran.
"We hope that, without any obstacle, he can return to his country, that they (the United States), do not create any obstacle for his return to his homeland," Mr Mottaki added.
While US authorities cannot enter Iran's diplomatic premises, they could prevent Mr Amiri leaving.
The Iran interest section is under the protection of Pakistan's embassy in Washington, but housed in a different building and run by Iranians.
The US cut diplomatic relations with Iran shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Iranian state radio has reported that Mr Amiri said in a telephone interview from inside the Iranian interest section that he had been "under enormous psychological pressure and supervision of armed agents in the past 14 months".
Mr Amiri was also quoted as saying that the US government had wanted to return him quietly to Iran using another country's airline and in doing so "cover up this abduction".
"After my comments were released on the internet, the Americans realised that they were the losers of this game," he was quoted as having said.
Video claims
A US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Reuters news agency that Mr Amiri had been visiting the US and had decided "to return to Iran of his own free will".
Mr Amiri went missing a year ago while on pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
The first two videos, telling starkly contradictory stories, were posted on the video-sharing site YouTube on 8 June.
In the first, initially broadcast by Iranian television, a man purporting to be Mr Amiri says he was kidnapped by the US while on pilgrimage in the Saudi Arabian city of Medina and that he is now living in the US state of Arizona.
At the time the Iranian government described the video as evidence that he was being held in the US against his will.
In the second, posted hours later on YouTube, a similar-looking man claiming to be the scientist says he is happy in the US, living in freedom and safety.
Plea for help
In the third video, which was broadcast by Iranian state TV on 29 June, a man claiming to be the missing scientist says: "I, Shahram Amiri, am a national of the Islamic Republic of Iran and a few minutes ago I succeeded in escaping US security agents in Virginia.
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In the most recent video the man claims to have escaped US custody

"Presently, I am producing this video in a safe place. I could be rearrested at any time."
The man in the video also dismisses the second recording, in which it was claimed that the scientist was living freely in the US, as "a complete fabrication".
"I am not free here and I am not permitted to contact my family. If something happens and I do not return home alive, the US government will be responsible."
The video finishes with the man urging Iranian officials and human rights organisations to "put pressure on the US government for my release and return".
"I was not prepared to betray my country under any kind of threats or bribery by the US government," he adds.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/middle_...609461.stm
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#8
Iranian scientist escapes CIA grip
Tehran Times Political Desk

TERAN - Missing Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri, who was abducted by the CIA while on an umra pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in June 2009, has taken refuge at the Iranian Interests Section in the Pakistani Embassy in Washington.

Amiri has asked to be repatriated to Iran as soon as possible, the Mehr News Agency has learned.

Mostafa Rahmani, the director of the Iranian Interests Section in Washington, told the Associated Press on Tuesday that the news report was correct, adding that the Iranian Foreign Ministry would release details later.

Meanwhile, the Iranian Foreign Ministry has confirmed Amiri’s presence at the Interests Section in Washington.

“The Foreign Ministry is closely following the issue of Mr. Amiri’s presence at the offices of the Iranian Interests Section in Washington. (The Foreign Ministry) will soon release additional details on the issue and will take appropriate steps,” an informed source at the Foreign Ministry told the Mehr News Agency on Tuesday.

He added that the Iranian Foreign Ministry will remain in contact with the Interests Section in the Pakistani Embassy in Washington.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has handed over to Swiss diplomats in Tehran new documents related to the abduction of the Iranian scientist by the CIA and called for Mr. Amiri’s prompt and unconditional release, Press TV reported on Tuesday.

The U.S. Interests Section is based in the Swiss Embassy in Washington.

Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit told AFP that Amiri had arrived at the Pakistani Embassy at 6:30 p.m. on Monday and has been with them since.

“We understand from Dr. Rahmani that they are making arrangements for his repatriation to Iran,” he added.

Previously, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry obtained a video clip recorded on April 5 in which Amiri elaborated on how he was abducted.

In the video, which was broadcast on several Iranian channels, Amiri said that he was then in the U.S. state of Arizona and that he had been abducted by the CIA and Saudi intelligence agents when he was in Medina in June 2009.

The Iranian Intelligence Ministry has also obtained an audio message in which Amiri was recorded as saying he had been offered $10 million to appear on CNN and announce that he had willingly defected to the United States, the Press TV report added.

Before he disappeared, Amiri worked as a researcher at Tehran’s Malek Ashtar University.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
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#9
Quote:Iranian Scientist Reported Flying Home

By DAVID E. SANGER

Published: July 14, 2010





WASHINGTON — An Iranian nuclear scientist who American officials say defected to the United States last year, provided information about Iran’s nuclear weapons program and then developed second thoughts, was reported to be flying home on Wednesday after he walked into the Iranian Interests Section of the Pakistani Embassy here on Monday night, saying he wanted a ticket back to Tehran.
On Wednesday, Iranian state media reported, his wish was granted. The scientist, Shahram Amiri, “has left the United States for the Iranian capital, Tehran,” Press TV, a state-run satellite broadcaster, reported, without giving details of his itinerary. Without giving details, the official IRNA news agency quoted an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying he was “heading toward Iran through a third country.”
The bizarre episode was the latest in a tale that has featured a mysterious disappearance from a hotel room in Saudi Arabia, rumors of a trove of new intelligence about Iran’s nuclear facilities and a series of contradictory YouTube videos. It immediately set off a renewed propaganda war between Iran and the United States.
Iranian officials have said for months that Amiri, 32, was kidnapped in the spring of 2009, taken to the United States and imprisoned and tortured. Iranian media quoted Mr. Amiri on Tuesday as saying that the United States had wanted to quietly return him to Iran and “cover up the kidnapping.”
On Wednesday, Press TV said: “Analysts say U.S. intelligence officials decided to release Amiri after they failed to advance their propaganda campaign against Iran’s nuclear program via fabricating interviews with the Iranian national.”
American intelligence officials scoffed at such accounts. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in the first official acknowledgment of Mr. Amiri’s presence in the United States, said Tuesday that he had arrived in the country “of his own free will” and could leave whenever he wished — an indication, she said, that he was hardly a prisoner of the United States government.
But clearly the latest chapter in the saga of Mr. Amiri, a specialist in radiation detection, was an embarrassment to American intelligence agencies and offered a peephole view of what is informally called the “brain drain” program to lure Iranian scientists and engineers out of their country.
Mr. Amiri was described as an important confirming source about the Iranian nuclear program, but he was considered too junior and too removed from the program’s central leadership to have deep knowledge. According to an American intelligence official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Mr. Amiri used his expertise in radiation detection to monitor employee safety at many of Iran’s atomic plants and facilities.
The strange saga of Mr. Amiri began when he vanished during a religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia 13 months ago. Almost immediately, it was clear that he was in the hands of Western intelligence agencies, and American officials now say that he was spirited quickly to the United States.
Shortly after Mr. Amiri disappeared, the Iranian government protested that he had been kidnapped by the United States, and it asked the United Nations secretary general to arrange for his return.
It is unclear when Mr. Amiri’s debriefings by American intelligence officials ended. But at some point he was placed in the national resettlement program, a sort of witness-protection program for defectors run by the C.I.A., and starting in the spring his nervousness about the fate of his wife and child grew markedly.
A former senior American intelligence official said he believed that the Iranians had threatened Mr. Amiri’s family, and a current American official said “the Iranians are not above using relatives to try to influence people.” Whatever the reason, one evening, looking haggard and unshaven, Mr. Amiri made a video, apparently on his laptop computer.
It showed a young man speaking in Persian through a computer phone hookup and saying that he had been kidnapped in a joint operation involving the C.I.A. and the Saudi intelligence service in Medina, Saudi Arabia, on June 3, 2009. He said that he had been taken to a house and injected with something, and that when he awoke, he was on a plane heading to the United States.
He said he was recording the video on April 5, in Tucson.
But hours later, another video appeared on YouTube, apparently made after the first one, with professional help. Appearing in a well-lighted room that appeared to be a library, with the added touch of a globe and a chessboard, Mr. Amiri looked well groomed. He identified himself as a student in a Ph.D. program and said he was eager to complete his studies and return to his family.
He insisted that he was free and safe, and he demanded an end to what he called false videos about himself, saying he had no interest in politics or experience in any nuclear weapons programs. He then made a third video, similar to the first.
On Tuesday, Mrs. Clinton left it unclear why Mr. Amiri made his dramatic appearance at a storefront offshoot of the Pakistani Embassy on Monday evening, seeking refuge, a passport and a plane ticket.

More at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/15/world/...ss&emc=rss
The most relevant literature regarding what happened since September 11, 2001 is George Orwell's "1984".
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#10
Quote:U.S. Says Scientist Aided C.I.A. While Still in Iran

[Image: IRAN-articleLarge.jpg] Newsha Tavakolian/Polaris, for The New York Times
The Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri, with his 7-year-old son, was met by family members in Tehran on Thursday.

By DAVID E. SANGER and MARK MAZZETTI

Published: July 15, 2010

[Image: conviction_120x60.gif]



The Iranian scientist who American officials say defected to the United States, only to return to Tehran on Thursday, had been an informant for the Central Intelligence Agency inside Iran for several years, providing information about the country’s nuclear program, according to United States officials.
The scientist, Shahram Amiri, described to American intelligence officers details of how a university in Tehran became the covert headquarters for the country’s nuclear efforts, the officials confirmed. While still in Iran, he was also one of the sources for a much-disputed National Intelligence Estimate on Iran’s suspected weapons program, published in 2007, the officials said. For several years, Mr. Amiri provided what one official described as “significant, original” information about secret aspects of his country’s nuclear program, according to the Americans.
This account by the Americans, some of whom are apparently trying to discredit Mr. Amiri’s tale of having been kidnapped by the C.I.A., provides the latest twist in one of strangest tales of the nuclear era. It also provides the first hint of how the United States acquired intelligence from Iranian scientists, besides its previously reported penetrations of Iranian computer systems.
Mr. Amiri arrived in Tehran on Thursday repeating his allegation that he had been grabbed in Saudi Arabia by the C.I.A. and Saudi intelligence, and tortured. American officials, clearly embarrassed that he had left a program that promised him a new identity and benefits amounting to about $5 million, said his accusations that he had been kidnapped and drugged were manufactured, and an effort to survive what will almost certainly be a grilling by the Iranian authorities.
“His safety depends on him sticking to that fairy tale about pressure and torture,” insisted one of the American officials, who spoke on the condition that he not be identified while discussing a classified operation to attract Iranian scientists. “His challenge is to try to convince the Iranian security forces that he never cooperated with the United States.”
On Thursday, even as Mr. Amiri was publicly greeted at home by his 7-year-old son and held a news conference, Iran’s foreign minister gave the first official hints of Iranian doubts about his story. “We first have to see what has happened in these two years and then we will determine if he’s a hero or not,” the BBC quoted the foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, as saying to a French news agency. “Iran must determine if his claims about being kidnapped were correct or not.”
After more than a year of denying any knowledge of Mr. Amiri while he was living undercover in Tucson and then briefly in Virginia, American officials in recent days have been surprisingly willing to describe their actions in the case. That may be in part to fend off charges that the handling of the Amiri case was badly bungled.
The Washington Post first reported that Mr. Amiri had been given $5 million, which officials described Thursday as standard for someone who had provided essential information. But the money would have been paid over an extended period, the officials said, and Mr. Amiri was not able to take it with him because American sanctions prohibited financial transfers to Iran.
It is unclear how Mr. Amiri’s information fed into the 2007 intelligence estimate. That document contended that Iran halted its design work on a nuclear weapon in 2003. A new national intelligence estimate, which has been repeatedly delayed this year, is likely to back away from some of the conclusions in the earlier document. For example, American intelligence officials now believe the design work on a weapon was resumed and continues to this day, though likely at a slower pace than earlier in the decade.
Mr. Amiri, a specialist in measuring radioactive materials, is not believed to have been central to any of Iran’s efforts at weapons design. But he worked at the Malek Ashtar University, which some American officials think is used as an academic cover for the organization responsible for designing weapons and warheads that could fit atop an Iranian missile. Those operations are run by Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian academic with long and close ties to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. Mr. Fakhrizadeh, United States officials maintain, is now effectively the head of the university, and in an effort to evade international inspectors has reorganized the structure of the Iranian program.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran, an opposition group based in France, in 2004 disclosed the existence of what it called a secret administrative headquarters for the military aspects of the Iranian program. The group made public more information in 2008, saying the site was in a suburb of Tehran adjacent to the university, giving it academic cover, and was called Mojdeh, after an adjacent street.
Mohammad Mohaddessin, head of the group’s foreign affairs committee, said the school “does not operate like a university.” Instead, he said, it is “a center for research and development of weapons” and works in cooperation with the Mojdeh site.
The American officials said that at some point while working as a secret informant, Mr. Amiri visited Saudi Arabia, and the C.I.A. arranged to spirit him out of that country and eventually to the United States, where he settled in Arizona. It is unclear whether Mr. Amiri tried to bring his wife and child with him.
Administration officials conceded that Mr. Amiri’s decision to come out of hiding and return to Iran was both a large embarrassment and a possible disincentive to future defections.
But the incident is also an embarrassment for Iran. Analysts said that even if he is publicly greeted as a hero, Mr. Amiri will probably be viewed with suspicion by the Iranian government.
After Mr. Amiri arrived in Tehran, he added details to his claims that he had been abducted by the C.I.A. and Saudi intelligence officers on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in June 2009. He said that he had no connection with Iran’s nuclear program and that he was the victim of an American conspiracy to wage “psychological warfare” against Iran.
Mr. Amiri told reporters he had been offered $10 million to say on CNN that he had arrived in the United States to seek asylum.
He said that just before his departure for Iran, he was offered $50 million and the chance for a new life in a European country of his choosing if he decided to stay.
“I don’t think that any Iranian in my place would have sold his dignity to another country for a financial reward,” Mr. Amiri said.
Mr. Amiri refused to describe how, if he was under armed guard, he had been able to release video messages in which he said that he had been kidnapped. He also did not answer questions about how he had eventually escaped detention.
William J. Broad contributed reporting.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/16/world/....html?_r=1


Not sure if this guy is a double defector or was kidnapped or just changed his mind after defecting. In any case it is totally believable that big $s were offered for him to stay and denounce his country. My husband was offered serious inducements to defect when he was on holiday in the west Europe whilst normally residing in the 'evil empire' of the Eastern Block to which he was more than happy to return to as the west held no appeal to him at all. Cuban friends have repeatedly been offered $100,000 plus if they would defect. They were contacted on their humanitarian work in Asia. It would not surprise me that a prize catch of an Iranian nuclear scientist would command a multi million dollar payoff.

Reading the article and the responses from the US it seems they haven't quite got their story right yet.

This may be their pay back for the embarrassment caused by the one who got away: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100715/wl_nm/us_iran_bomb
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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