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Iran says missing scientist abducted by US

05 April 2010 [14:07] - TODAY.AZ
Revelations that a missing Iranian nuclear scientist is in US territory prove that he was abducted by Washington officials and taken to the US against his will, says Iran's foreign ministry spokesman.

In an interview on Saturday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast played down media reports suggesting that Shahram Amiri, an Iranian nuclear expert who disappeared while on pilgrimage to Mecca last year, had defected to the United States and helping it to spy on Tehran's enrichment work.

According to Mehmanparast, the revelations show that the US government “knew Amiri's whereabouts all along" and was not being entirely truthful when it denied having any involvement in his disappearance.

On March 10, US media report claimed that Amiri, an expert on radioactive isotopes at Malek-Ashtar University of Technology in Tehran, was seduced into defection by US officials as part of "an intelligence coup" against the Iranian government.

Amiri was reported missing while he was on the 'umrah' Hajj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia last June. When news broke out of his disappearance, Iranian officials including Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki accused Washington of being behind Amiri's disappearance.

"Riyadh has handed over Iran's nuclear scientist Amiri to America," Mehmanparast said on December 8.

But the United States was quick to deny any involvement in the incident, claiming that it knew nothing about the Iranian scientist, let alone his whereabouts.

With reports circulating that Amiri is in the United States, Observers believe Iran has had good reason to hold Washington responsible for Amiri's disappearance.

/Press TV/

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