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Shahram Amiri videos

Full story: "Iranian scientist surfaces at Pakistani Embassy in D.C.; Iran says U.S. kidnapped him." Earlier: "Videos deepen mystery over Iranian scientist who apparently defected to U.S."

Updated 3:31 a.m.
A man who identified himself as Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri said he was kidnapped and tortured by the Central Intelligence Agency in 2009 and being held in Arizona. He made his allegations in an online chat recorded on April 5 and uploaded to YouTube in early June as "Nuclear Scientist Shahram Amiri Kidnap video allegation on Iran TV":

His allegations, according to the BBC's translation:

"I, Shahram Amiri, expert and researcher of Malek-e-Ashtar Industrial University, am currently in the American city of Tucson in the state of Arizona.

"I was kidnapped last year (2009) in the holy city of Medina on 3 June in a joint operation by the terror and abduction units of the American CIA and Saudi Arabia's Istikhbarat [intelligence agency].

"They took me to a house located somewhere that I didn't know. They gave me an anesthetic injection. When I became conscious I was in a big [voice interrupted] towards America.

"During the eight months that I was kept in America, I was subject to the most severe tortures and psychological pressures by the American intelligence investigation groups."

He then refuted his earlier claims in an early June video, which also aired on Iranian television. "I would like to urge everyone to stop presenting a distorted image of me," he said in the video, below:

Full transcripts of the first two videos are available from the BBC.

Messages from him have continued to crop up on YouTube. Here is "Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri sending message to his family in Iran - 23 June 2010":

The site provides this translation: "Today June 23th, 2010, I, Shahram Amiri am from the Islamic Republic of Iran and currently reside in America. I wanted to inform my dear family that I am doing well, and not to be worried about me. God willing, I will be returning to my dear country Iran in the next few days. I want my family to be strong and patient and prey for my safe return".

On June 29, 2010, another video was uploaded to YouTube. The speaker indicated in the clip that it was shot on June 14:

"I'm not free here," he said, according to a translation by Post reporter Tara Bahrampour, "and I don't have permission to be in touch with my family."

He again refuted what he said in the earlier videos, and said that if anything happened to him it was the responsibility of the United States. He did not betray his country, Iran, he said.

At the end of the video, another voice can be heard speaking in Farsi off camera saying, "Good job. Louder."

By Garance Franke-Ruta  | July 13, 2010; 9:30 AM ET
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This account seems incoherent and a little bizarre. How about some reporting, instead of just links to YouTube?

Posted by: RealityCheckerInEffect | July 13, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I think the account is incoherent and bizarre because the story is. Nobody seems to know what the truth of the matter is. Are these videos even the same person? If he was kidnapped, how did he escape? If he wasn't kidnapped, why is he here?
There are too many games being played by too many people for anyone to sort it out, even someone privy to some of the information. Both the Iranian government and the CIA routinely use disinformation.

Posted by: Lamentations | July 13, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

The CIA did this? Nah! they compete for saintly status with the likes of Mother Teressa and St Augustine. This sounds more like the work of MOSSAD. After all they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The US takes the rap while they get the information. Sleep on folks.

Posted by: yard80197 | July 14, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

This is the most weird case I ve ever seen in my life. Is he Iran 's Spy ? How come he could just make it to go from Arizona to DC ? !! almost 3000 miles!!! Was he a refuge in US? my understanding is that he took the opportunity when he was in S.Arabia to take asylum to US and Iranian's government put pressure on his family in Iran to push him to return to the country.Or this might be Iran's way of conducting espionage in USA cause America is the only country they may not have any sleeping agent in .

Posted by: candyboy | July 14, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I think we talked to him in Medina...Made him an offer...he accepted. Once he got stateside we began to find out what he knew. He didn't know anything that we didn't already know. CIA said "Thanks you are free to move about the country". That wasn't what he thought he'd get. Pissed off and realizing how badly he screwed his family wants to go home but how could he....hints the story we are hearing today. End of the day he didn't know much.

Posted by: rcfairchild | July 15, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

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