Iranian scientist says he was taken for a ride
The mysterious story of the Iranian scientist begins and ends with a cab.
When Shahram Amiri showed up at 6:30 pm Monday at the Iranian interests section in Washington, maintained by the Pakistani embassy, the only person there was the security guard. They spoke to each other in Farsi.
Amiri's story, as related by Pakistani officials who spoke to him, is that he was in Medina last year when he hailed what he thought was a cab. Once inside the cab, he was drugged and the next thing he knew, he woke up in the United States. During his stay in Tucson, he said he wasn't tortured or physically abused but he suffered from "mental torture." He kept insisting he wanted to go home and finally he was brought back to DC and put in a cab, which had been given the address of the Iranian interest section. Amiri did not explain how he ended up in the cab--or who gave the address to the cabbie.
Amiri apparently has not yet spoken to his family in Iran.
Though U.S. officials say Amiri has every right to go home if he wants, it's not quite as easy as simply getting on a plane. There is a bureaucratic problem of the fact he has no U.S, entry stamp or visa in his passport. There are also no direct flight, and the Iranian government insists he fly on Turkish airlines, with a plane change in Istanbul. He's alrady missed Tuesday's flight, but there is another flight at 4:45 Wednesday, which would bring him to Tehran at 4:10 am Thursday.
Otherwise, he will have to wait till Saturday.
| July 13, 2010; 4:40 PM ET
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