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Wednesday, December 9, 2009     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Iran confirms missing Iranian was nuke scientist, is being held in U.S.

NICOSIA — Iran has for the first time acknowledged that an Iranian who disappeared was a nuclear scientist who was taken to the United States.   

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said a nuclear scientist left Teheran for Saudi Arabia in 2009 and disappeared. The ministry said the scientist, identified as Shahram Amiri, was taken into custody by Saudi authorities in May and transferred to the United States.

"Shahram Amiri, Iran's nuclear scientist who had gone to Haj in Saudi Arabia, was handed over by Riyad to Washington," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said.

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This marked the first time that Iran identified Amiri as a nuclear scientist. The disappearance of Amiri was reported by Iran in June, Middle East Newsline reported.

In a statement on Dec. 8, Mehmanparast said Amiri has been held in a prison in the United States. The spokesman said 11 Iranian nationals were being held by the United States.

"He is among 11 jailed Iranians in America," Mehmanparast said.

Amiri was said to have worked as a researcher at the state-owned Iranian Atomic Energy Organization. Iran has dismissed reports that Amiri sought asylum in the West.

In 2007, former Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Ali Reza Asqari disappeared in Turkey. Asqari, reported to have been involved in Iran's nuclear program, was also believed to have defected to the West.

[In an unrelated development, a training camp of the Iranian-sponsored Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command was rocked by a series of explosions on late Dec. 8. The PLFP-GC camp is located in the Bekaa Valley near the border with Syria.]


Looks like most of what you read in the news leaves out most of what you would like to read in the news. Something is going on and...NO COMMENT.

John      3:40 p.m. / Friday, December 11, 2009

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