Iranian scientist in US torture claim on return home

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Iranian scientist in US torture claim on return home

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The Iranian scientist who claims he was kidnapped by US agents has said he was mentally and physically tortured.

On his arrival back in Tehran where he was greeted by his family, Shahram Amiri denied that he was heavily involved in Iran’s nuclear programme.

The US says the scientist defected voluntarily but then changed his mind.

But Amiri repeated his claim that he was abducted while on a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia last year.

“Within the first two months, I was subjected to fierce mental and physical torture by agents and interrogators from the CIA,” said the scientist, who was accompanied by a senior foreign ministry official.

“I’m amazed that someone like the US Secretary of State (Hillary Clinton) – who claims to be an advocate of human rights – says that I was free and went there of my own free will. I have documents and evidence that show I was never free, I was not allowed to make a call or talk to anybody, and I was under the control of armed CIA guards,” he said.

Iran has portrayed Amiri’s return as a blow to American intelligence services. The scientist also claimed that the CIA had offered him $50m (40m€) to stay in the US.

But officials in Washington say he co-operated freely and provided useful information about Iran’s nuclear programme. They have suggested that Amiri returned home because he feared for his family’s safety.

On Monday, Amiri turned up at the Iranian interests section of Pakistan’s US embassy and asked to be repatriated.