Iran nuclear scientist, who turned up in U.S. and later returned home, said undergoing torture

Thursday, January 6, 2011   E-Mail this story   Free Headline Alerts

WASHINGTON Iran was said to be torturing a nuclear scientist months after his departure from the United States.

Opposition sources said Shahram Amiri has been detained in a Teheran prison and was being beaten daily. They said Amiri, who claimed he had been abducted and left the United States in July, was hospitalized amid the torture sessions. "He has been in a military prison in Teheran for more than two months," an opposition source said.

The opposition group IranBriefing Foundation asserted that Amiri was being held by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The group, citing family members, said Amiri was detained as soon as he arrived in Iran from Washington. The family members said Amiri had first been allowed family visits before he was moved to Teheran's Heshmatieh prison, where he was undergoing torture.

In May 2009, Shahiri disappeared during a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. Western intelligence sources said Shahiri provided Washington with classified data on Iran's nuclear program, something denied by Teheran.

More than a year later, Shahiri resurfaced in the Pakistan embassy in Washington and sent video messages that demanded his return to Iran. The United States, said to have paid Amiri $5 million, put the Iranian on a flight to Teheran, where he again disappeared. In October, Iranian Vice President Ali Salehi acknowledged that nuclear personnel were relaying classified data to the West.

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