July 17, 2010
The Iranian scientist who returned to his homeland this week was one of two CIA informants whisked out of Iran last year by the agency amid concerns that the Tehran government had discovered they were providing secrets to the United States, current and former U.S. officials said.
Before his abrupt departure for Iran, Shahram Amiri was among half a dozen sources who had provided information to the CIA from inside Iran’s nuclear program and were subsequently resettled in the United States, officials said. All were given reward packages — including the $5 million set aside for Amiri — administered by financial firms outside the CIA’s control.
The disclosures are among the details that have surfaced about the CIA’s efforts to gather intelligence on Iran, as well as its handling of defectors from that country, since Amiri’s highly public return to Tehran.
Amiri has alleged that he was drugged and abducted by the CIA before being brought to the United States and was subjected to coercive interrogations on Iran’s nuclear program. U.S. officials have adamantly denied Amiri’s assertions, saying he defected voluntarily and is concocting stories to enable his return to a country that he betrayed.
This article was posted: Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 2:28 am