Azerbaijan, Baku, July 16 / Trend T.Konyayeva /
After Iranian nuclear physicist Shahram Amiri's returning to homeland, the U.S. expects the same attitude from Iran towards American citizens when they travel to the Islamic Republic, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Philip Crowley said at the news conference, the U.S. State Department reported.
"We have demonstrated on the example of an Iranian citizen, who decided to come here and then return home, he is free to do so," Crowley said." We expect the same attitude when it comes to our citizens traveling to the region."
Amiri from the U.S returned to Iran July 15, after 14 months after his abduction by agents of the United States and Saudi Arabia.
Amiri disappeared during his Hajj in Saudi Arabia in spring 2009. Tehran has accused U.S. intelligence agencies of kidnapping Amiri and the security forces the authorities of the Kingdom of aiding the Americans. Iran has demanded the U.S. authorities to return Amiri, who according to the Iranian side, was taken from Riyadh to Washington.
According to Crowley, Amiri on his own decided to leave Iran and move to the U.S., and then return to Iran.
"I do not know why he left Iran and why he had decided to return," Crowley said. "I do not think that this is a particular propaganda value. This is kind of internal contradiction. We allow people to come here and return home".
In early June, Iranian television channels broadcast footage supporting these accusations, which stated that the scientist was being held in the city of Tucson, Arizona.
Later Western media reported that the Iranian scientist himself decided not to return to Iran and began cooperating with U.S. intelligence agencies.
Crowley added that the U.S. supported Amiri's arrival in the country, as well as allowed him to return home.
"Amiri came to the United States of his free will. And as of last night, he left the United States of his free will," Crowley said.
Crowley believes that it is on this basis, the U.S. believes that Iran must release the three American tourists who were detained on its territory.
"They were exactly as we described them. They were hikers in Iraq who wandered close to or across an unmarked border. We believe they should be released on humanitarian grounds," he added.
Joshua Felix Fattal, 27, along with Shane Michael Bauer, 27, and Sarah Emily Shourd, 31 were arrested in the western Iranian district of Marivan, at the Malakh-Khur border point July 31 while they were hiking near Iran's border with Iraq. According to the American side, they traveled to Iraq and were on Iranian territory by mistake. However, the Iranian secret services believe this is not a coincidence.
Crowley said the United States does not discuss the issue on the exchange, as cases of Amiri and the three U.S. citizens not connected with each other.
"I repeat that three of our citizens are innocent of anything except the border crossing with no markings," he said." Soon the first anniversary of their incarceration and the U.S. want their release and return home."
Crowley added that the persons crossing the border, should be promptly returned to the country from which they came.
He also expressed the U.S. concerns over the case on Robert Levinson.
"The U.S. wanted cooperation with Iran to try to determine Levinson's whereabouts and physical condition, but did not see a step forward," Crowley said.
Ex-FBI agent 59-year-old Robert Levinson disappeared in March 2007 during his visit to Iran on the island of Kish to participate in the investigation into the smuggling of cigarettes.
The Iranian government stated that has no information on the case, but representatives of the U.S. State Department questioned the statements by the Iranian side.
Iran rejected the U.S. request for Swiss diplomats to visit Kish for inspection of Levinson's baggage in September 2007.
Crowley refused to comment on questions about American contacts of Amiri and $5 million proposed to him by the U.S..
Do you have any feedback? Contact our journalist at firstname.lastname@example.org