Contradictory videos of Iranian scientist defector raise eyebrows

06/9/2010 | Washington Post, The

In a video aired by Iranian state television, an Iranian scientist who defected to the U.S. last year said that he had been instead abducted and tortured by the U.S. -- a claim he then retracted in a second video. An Internet chat session recorded in April revealed a disheveled Shahram Amiri claiming that he had been abducted during a religious pilgrimage by a joint operation between the CIA and Saudi Arabia's Istikhbarat. Despite the release of a second video -- in which a cleaned-up Amiri refuted his own claims -- Iran protested formally through diplomatic channels, sparking speculation that the incident could hinder the release of three U.S. hikers held by Iran for the past year.

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