15 Jul 2010

Iranian scientist 'kidnapped by CIA' back in Tehran

5:59 pm on 15 July 2010

An Iranian scientist who claims he was kidnapped by the CIA in Saudi Arabia a year ago and taken to the United States has arrived back in Iran.

After greeting members of his family at Tehran airport, Shahram Amiri told reporters he had been subjected to "the harshest mental and physical torture".

He also denied that he had been heavily involved in Iran's nuclear programme.

On Monday, Mr Amiri went to the Iranian interests section of Pakistan's embassy in the US and asked to be repatriated.

The US state department insisted he was in the country "of his own free will" and raised no objections about his return to Iran.

Mr Amiri appeared in three videos in June giving conflicting stories about how he had arrived in the United States, the BBC reports.

In the first, he said he'd been kidnapped by US and Saudi agents while on a pilgrimage. In the second, he said he was living freely in Arizona; and in the third, he said he'd escaped from his captors.