Report: CIA paid Iranian scientist 5 million dollars
The Iranian nuclear scientist who returned to Iran early Thursday after claiming he had been abducted by the US received more than 5 million dollars from the CIA for providing intelligence, The Washington Post reported.
The Post on Thursday quoted unnamed officials as saying that Shahram Amiri would not have to give back the money but might have problems gaining access to it because of financial sanctions on Iran, DPA reported.
Amiri, 32, an employee at the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, was greeted at Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport by Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Ghashghavi,and by his wife, son and parents.
He flashed a victory sign and claimed he had been tortured in US custody. "They threatened me if I did not follow their orders, they would transfer me to Israel," he said of his alleged captors.
Amiri sought refuge in the Pakistan embassy in Washington earlier this week claiming he had been abducted by the US a year ago. US officials said he was free to leave.
The US has no diplomatic relations with Iran, and Pakistan represents Iranian interests in Washington.
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton rejected allegations that Amiri had been kidnapped and insisted that he had been in the US "of his own free will."
Officials told the Washington Post that Amiri may have changed his mind about cooperating with the US out of concern that the Tehran government would harm his family.
Any money Amiri had received was "now beyond his reach," a US official was quoted as saying. "He's gone, but his money's not. We have his information, and the Iranians have him."