Iran executes nuclear scientist who claimed he was kidnapped by CIA

Shahram AmiriAuthorities in Iran have admitted that they executed a former scientist for the country’s nuclear program, who claimed that he was abducted by the United States after disappearing from Iran for a year. Shahram Amiri worked for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, the government body that is responsible for operating and regulating the country’s nuclear installations. But in the summer of 2009, while on a religious pilgrimage to the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca, Amiri disappeared. Iranian authorities alleged at the time that Amiri had been kidnapped and possibly killed by Saudi, Israeli or American intelligence operatives.

Remarkably, the Iranian scientist reappeared almost a year later in Washington, DC. He entered the embassy of Pakistan in the American capital and asked to speak to the official in charge of the embassy’s Iranian interests section (since America and the Islamic Public have no official diplomatic relations, Pakistan’s embassy serves as an intermediary). He told officials at the embassy that he had been abducted by the Central Intelligence Agency after being drugged in Saudi Arabia. He also claimed that he was secretly transported to the US, where he was “subjected to intense psychological pressure” involving psychotropic drugs, interrogated and forced to reveal secrets about Iran’s nuclear program. But US officials denied Amiri’s claims and said the Iranian scientist had defected on his own accord and was free to return to Iran, if he wanted. Unconfirmed reports suggested that Amiri had changed his mind after defecting to the US, because he feared that Iranian authorities would harm his family. Some anonymous sources in Washington also claimed that Amiri had been offered $5 million for the information he gave the CIA, but that he had chosen to return to Iran instead of accepting the money.

On July 15, 2010, just three days after contacting the Pakistani embassy in DC, Amiri returned to a hero’s welcome in Iran, which was televised live. Meanwhile, Iranian officials accused the US and Israel of employing dirty tactics against the Islamic Republic. However, in May 2011 Amiri was suddenly arrested at his family home in Tehran and charged with treason. He underwent a secret trial, was convicted and was never again seen in public. On Saturday, Amiri’s family said they had received his body from the government, and that it appeared that he had died from hanging, judging by rope marks around his neck. On Sunday, Iran’s first deputy chief justice and former intelligence minister, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje’i, told reporters that Amir had indeed been executed by hanging. During his brief announcement, Mohseni-Eje’i said Amiri had endangered the Islamic Republic by giving “vital intelligence about the country to the enemy”, by which he said he meant the United States.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 07 August 2016 | Permalink

News you may have missed #465

  • Germany denies secret spy collaboration with the US. Germany’s aerospace center denied Monday that it is working with the US on a $270 million high-tech secret spy program, insisting that its plans for a high-resolution optical satellite have purely scientific and security uses. The denial was in response to US State Department cables obtained by WikiLeaks and revealed by Norwegian daily Aftenposten.
  • Was Iranian nuclear defector tortured? Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri, who returned to Tehran in July after what he called a “kidnapping” by the CIA, has been held in detention by Iranian authorities for two months and tortured so badly he was hospitalized, according to a dissident Iranian web site.
  • WikiLeaks reveals France leads industrial spying in Europe. France is the country that conducts the most industrial espionage on other European countries, even ahead of China and Russia, according to leaked US diplomatic cables, reported in a translation by Agence France Presse of Norwegian daily Aftenposten‘s reporting.

News you may have missed #398

  • Britain’s first spy chief ordered Rasputin’s murder. Mansfield Cumming, or ‘C’ as he became known, was the first chief of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). In December 1916, he sent three agents in Russia to eliminate Grigori Rasputin, an influential Orthodox Russian priest who had a positive view of Germany.
  • Russian spy network moved money to Zimbabwe. A Zimbabwean company called Southern Union is alleged to have been used by exposed Russian spy Anna Chapman in a money smuggling operation involving a syndicate linked to the Robert Mugabe regime.
  • Iran says nuclear scientist gave valuable info on CIA. Iran’s semiofficial Fars news agency says that Iranian nuclear scientist Dr. Shahram Amiri, who resurfaced and returned home last week from the United States, after having disappeared during a 2009 religious pilgrimage to Mecca, has provided Iran with “valuable information” on the CIA.

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Comment: Defector’s Wish to Return to Iran Not Unusual

Shahram Amiri

Shahram Amiri

This website has covered extensively the case of Dr. Shahram Amiri, a scientific researcher employed in Iran’s nuclear program, who disappeared during a religious pilgrimage to Mecca in May or June of 2009. Tehran maintains that Dr. Amiri was abducted by CIA agents. However, most intelligence observers, including this writer, believe that the Iranian researcher willfully defected to the West, following a long, carefully planned intelligence operation involving the CIA, as well as French and German intelligence agencies.

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Analysis: Can the CIA sabotage the Iranian nuclear weapons program?

Shahram Amiri

Shahram Amiri

There is no doubt that the CIA has been actively trying to sabotage Iran’s nuclear weapons program since at least February of 2008, when US President George W. Bush authorized Langley to intensify its covert efforts against Tehran. It is also true that the US was able to partially sabotage Iran’s nuclear program by eliminating the A.Q. Khan nuclear proliferation network, and by employing scientific front companies and cooperative suppliers, who gave the Iranians faulty hardware. The defection to Washington of senior Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri provides recent evidence of the existence of a covert US project to “decapitate” the Iranian nuclear weapons program, by luring away leading Iranian researchers. On the other hand, it is worth wondering why the CIA chose to remove Amiri from the Iranian nuclear program, instead of asking him to remain an agent-in-place, which would have been far more beneficial for Langley. Read more of this post

Senior Iranian scientist defected to CIA: report

Shahram Amiri

Shahram Amiri

ABC News appears to confirm earlier rumors, which intelNews reported on last December, that a senior Iranian nuclear scientist has defected to the CIA. The Iranian government had initially accused American and Saudi intelligence agencies of kidnapping Shahram Amiri, a central figure in the Iranian nuclear research program, who disappeared last June during a hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. However, as intelNews reported last year, French intelligence sources  claimed that Amiri’s defection was facilitated through a carefully planned intelligence operation involving the CIA, as well as French and German operatives. Moreover, the alleged defector was said to have secretly briefed International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors in Frankfurt, Germany, before they traveled to Iran to inspect a previously undeclared Iranian nuclear facility near the city of Qum. According to ABC News, which cites “people briefed on the operation by intelligence officials”, not only has Amiri defected to the CIA, but he has already been “extensively debriefed” since his defection. Read more of this post

BREAKING NEWS: Bomb blast kills Iranian physicist

Masoud Ali Mohammadi

Dr. Mohammadi

Iran’s state broadcaster has said a government physicist was “martyred” earlier this morning in a suspicious blast outside his home. The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) news agency reports that police forces have sealed off the area around the Tehran residence of Masoud Ali-Mohammadi, whom it described as a “dedicated revolutionary professor”. Dr. Ali-Mohammadi was reportedly killed by a remotely controlled explosive device that was planted at the entrance of his residence. Iranian officials hint that the remnants of the device point to the work of “outside intelligence agencies”, and some implicate the Mossad. Read more of this post

Iranian defector briefed UN inspectors on Iran nuclear program

Iranian nuclear facility in Qum

Qum facility

An Iranian nuclear scientist who vanished during a pilgrimage to Mecca last June has defected to the West and has briefed American and United Nations officials about Iran’s nuclear program. As intelNews reported on October 9, rumors have been circulating in the Arab press that Shahram Amiri, a senior figure in the Iranian nuclear research program, was not abducted by Saudi and Western intelligence agencies, as Iran claims, but actually defected to the West. Now British newspaper The Sunday Telegraph has cited “a source close to France’s overseas secret service, the DGSE”, who claims that Amiri’s defection was facilitated through a carefully planned intelligence operation involving the CIA, as well as French and German operatives. Read more of this post

Iran blames US, Saudis over defection of Iranian nuclear scientist

Manouchehr Mottaki

M. Mottaki

Iran’s foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, has accused American and Saudi Arabian intelligence agencies of complicity in the recent disappearance of an Iranian nuclear scientist. Mottaki’s comments followed revelations in London-based Arabic-language daily, Al-Sharq al-Awsat, that the scientist, Shahram Amiri, defected to the West earlier this year. The paper said the researcher, who worked for the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program, defected during a hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It also claimed that another Iranian nuclear scientist, whose identity has not yet emerged, has disappeared, and may have defected, during a recent visit to the Republic of Georgia. The rumored disappearances may be part of Israel’s ongoing secret war on Iran’s nuclear program, which British newspaper The Daily Telegraph described last February as a covert “decapitation program” by Israeli intelligence, targeting Iran’s nuclear scientists. Read more of this post

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