Iran scientist: CIA offered me $50m to lie about nuclear secrets


Patrick Cockburn
Independent
July 16, 2010

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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An Iranian scientist who says he was abducted and taken to the United States by the CIA returned to Tehran yesterday to a hero’s welcome and claimed that he had been pressured into lying about his country’s nuclear programme.

Shahram Amiri said that he was on the hajj pilgrimage when he was seized at gunpoint in the city of Medina, drugged and taken to the US, where he says Israel was involved in his interrogation. In the US, officials were reported to have admitted that Mr Amiri was paid more than $5m (£3.2m) by the CIA for information about Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

The US claims to have received useful information from him in return for the money, but is clearly embarrassed by his very public return to Iran. The offer of a large bribe is reportedly part of a special US programme to get Iranian nuclear scientists to defect.

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