Iran Wants Iranian Nuclear Scientist Defector Back Or They Will Harm His Family

Should dub this dueling videos Shahram Amiri missed his family and called them. The second time he called Iranian Intelligence answered and threatens to harm his son if he didn't do a video stating he was kidnapped by the US. Fearing for his family, he did the video. CIA also had him do a video after learning of the threat. Unfortunately, that video wasn't released until after Iranian TV showed the "I was kidnapped" video.

The Iranian government has threatened to harm the family of a nuclear scientist who defected to the U.S. and helped provide crucial details about Iran's burgeoning weapons program unless he returns home, according to people in the intelligence community briefed by the CIA.

The high-stakes spy saga is being played out online, where both the Iranian intelligence agency and the CIA have posted dueling videos of the scientist. In one video, he claims the U.S. kidnapped him, in the other he says he is happy to be in the U.S.

Behind the scenes, the situation has become so grave that American officials fear Amiri could re-defect, according to the people briefed on the situation...

At the center of the intrigue is Shahram Amiri, an Iranian nuclear scientist, who officials say operated within Iran as a key CIA spy for several years before his defection and provided evidence that Iran continued a program to produce nuclear weapons. According to a former U.S. official, Amiri's evidence helped to contradict a 2007 National Intelligence Estimate that concluded that Tehran had suspended its weaponization program in 2003.

CIA director Leon Panetta told ABC News yesterday on the This Week that the CIA no longer believes the conclusions of the 2007 NIE, saying that Tehran continues "to work on designs" for a nuclear weapon.

"I think they continue to develop their know-how," Panetta said. "They continue to develop their nuclear capability."

CIA officials pushed for Amiri to flee the country out of fear that his disclosures might expose him to Tehran as a spy.

Amiri vanished last year during a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia

If he goes back he will be tortured. I don't expect his family to be saved from harm if he goes back. Gawd awful situation to be in.

Posted by: Stable Hand at 09:11 AM

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