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Gaza Fixer: A chronicle of survival
15 Jul 2010 06:19 GMT | Politics, Middle East, US & Canada, United States
An Iranian man who says he was kidnapped and interrogated for 14 months in the US over Iran's nuclear programme, has returned to his home country where he was reunited with his family.
Shahram Amiri says he was abducted by US and Saudi agents at gunpoint while on a pilgrimage to the Saudi city of Mecca last year and flown to the US, where he claims he was physically and psychologically tortured under questioning.
The US government has denied all the allegations, saying Amiri was not held against his own will in the US.
Speaking to Al Jazeera in Doha on Wednesday en route to Tehran, Amiri said: "For 14 months I was put under a number of pressures in the US. And in reality the freedom to communicate with my family and to express myself in an ordinary fashion was not granted.
"Behind the scenes this was very politically motivated."
Although there were US assumptions that Amiri was a nuclear scientist and thus could hold in-depth information about Iran's nuclear programme, Amiri and the Iranian government have insisted that he is merely a scientific university researcher.
Al Jazeera's Alireza Ronaghi, reporting from Tehran after attending a news conference addressed by Amiri, said: "I think the main thing to remember is that Amiri's fate had been wrapped in mystery since the beginning when it was said that he was a nuclear scientist.
"The rest of the assumptions followed that he either defected or was kidnapped to provide relevant information on Iran's nuclear programme."
"But then today it seems like the Iranians have finally decided to deny the assumption that Mr Amiri had any information that could reveal anything to about Iran's nuclear programme to sort of try and lift all the possibilities about Amiri's importance that could probably lead to his defection.
Wife in the dark
Our correspondent said he had talked to Amiri's wife and even she did not know whether he was alive or dead.
"So no one knew what he has been doing apart from his own claims about what he had been doing and what happened to him," our correspondent said.
"We have no other source or no other reliable commentary to get a climpse of what he had been doing in the last couple of months, so it is very important for Iranian authorities to get to the bottom of it.
"Iranians have to go through very lengthy sessions with Amiri and that has just started."
Source: Al Jazeera
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