Iran Tells US: Give Us Our Scientist Back
Nuclear researcher is missing, and Tehran says he was abducted
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2009 5:35 PM CST
This Sept. 26, 2009, satellite file image provided by GeoEye shows a facility under construction inside a mountain located about 20 miles north northeast of Qom, Iran.   (AP Photo/GeoEye Satellite Image, IHS Jane's Analysis, File)
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(Newser) – Iran today accused the US and Saudi Arabia of kidnapping a prominent nuclear scientist. Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Shahram Amir disappeared while visiting Saudi Arabia on a religious pilgrimage in June. "The Americans did abduct him," he said. "Therefore we expect the American government to return him."

Amiri, however, might have defected, an intelligence source suggests to the LA Times. He visited Mecca, but not during the Hajj holiday. "A Shiite Iranian that comes to Mecca in Saudi beyond the formal period of Hajj will alert services Saudis, even at the visa application stage," the source said. "This suggests to me that the guy had prepared his trip and he was invited."