US claims Amiri was willing defector, offered $5 million


Iran and the United States appear locked in a propaganda war as both countries present conflicting accounts of how and why Shahram Amiri went missing before surfacing in the USA demanding to be flown home.

US government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have told the US media that Amiri provided the American government with a wealth of information about Iran’s nuclear program and that he was in secret contact with the government for years before he, allegedly, defected.

Amiri is an Iranian nuclear scientist and his disappearance while on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in 2009 prompted the Iranian government to accuse the United States of kidnapping. The US strongly denied these allegations and insisted they knew nothing of Amiri’s whereabouts.

Then, in 2010, Amiri surfaced in Washington, seeking refuge at the Iranian Interests section of the Pakistani embassy. He claimed to have been kidnapped by the CIA, the US government denied these charges and claimed that Amiri had willingly defected, but changed his mind.

Unnamed government sources revealed Friday that the nuclear scientist had been offered $5 million to stay in the US and become part of a secret program to entice more Iranian nuclear scientists to defect.

The New York Times and the Associated Press were the two media outlets chosen to release the information while the media in Iran have painted Amiri as a national hero, the survivor of kidnapping and torture.

The Iranian government too has fed into this idea, apparently unwilling to acknowledge the possible defection of their elite scientists.

Amiri’s story has highlighted the stark divide in national ideologies, with the public of both countries freely accepting the version of events presented by their respective governments.

Source:Europe News.Net