United States - Iran

Amiri says he will detail "abduction"

Reuters

Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri, who says he was kidnapped by United States spies last year, left Washington for Tehran on Wednesday. He said in a television interview he plans to reveal full details of his "abduction" by United States spies when he arrives home.

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"My abduction is a detailed story", Amiri said in an interview with English-language Iranian Press TV channel.

"In Iran, I will thoroughly clarify the allegations made by foreign media and the US government which, in fact, have targeted my reputation."

The scientist surfaced in Washington more than a year after disappearing from Saudi Arabia in May 2009.

"When I am hopefully in my dear country Iran, I can speak to the media and my own people with ease of mind and tell them about my ordeal over the past 14 months, incidents that have been a mystery to many," he said in remarks posted on the channel's website.

The Iranian foreign ministry confirmed Wednesday Amiri was on his way home.

"A few monemts ago, Shahram Amiri left US soil...for Iran following efforts taken by the Islamic Republic of Iran and the effective cooperation of the Pakistani embassy in Washington", spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as saying.

Mehmanparast also stated Amiri was abducted by US spies, and said Iran was committed to investigating the allegations "legally and diplomatically".

US officials denied charges Amiri had been abducted by the Central Intelligence Agency.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters on Tuesday there was nothing stopping Amiri returning to Iran.

"He's free to go. He was free to come. These decisions are his alone to make", she said.

But US State Department spokesperson Philip Crowley confirmed Tuesday the US government was in contact with Amiri when he was in the country.

Amiri "has been here for some time, I'm not gong to specify for how long, but he has chosen to return", Crowley told reporters, but refused to comment on whether Amiri provided the US with intelligence reports.

Amiri's story has been tied to international concern over Iran's nuclear program, which Tehran says is for peaceful purposes, but which many nations fear masks a weapons development program.

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