CIA Report Claims $5M Payoff to Iranian Scientists for Nuclear Program Secrets
July 15, 2010
(ChattahBox) – Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri, who claimed he was kidnapped and held against his will in the United States, was paid $5 million to defect from his home country, a report by the Washington Post alleges.
According to the story, Amiri agreed to a deal with the CIA to provide state secrets on Iran’s nuclear program, in exchange for protection in the U.S., and $5 million dollars.
The money was transferred, but he made a sudden U-turn in the promise, releasing several videos online, and on Iranian television. In them, he alleged that he was fine and in America by choice, and then that he was actually being held against his will after being kidnapped by CIA officials.
The Post claims that the money was not revoked, but that he will probably be unable to access it without revealing his part in defecting.
“Anything he got is now beyond his reach, thanks to the financial sanctions on Iran. He’s gone, but his money’s not. We have his information, and the Iranians have him,” an unnamed CIA official said.
He was originally supposed to be a part of an operation that would convince several scientists working with classified information in Iran’s nuclear program to turn spy and provide information, sources say.
Many believe that Amiri did come on his own, but changed his mind out of fear of Tehran imprisoning or harming members of his family back home.
He claims that he was offered $50 million to stay in the U.S.