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Monday, July 19, 2010

Now the CIA says it too: Amiri was a double agent

London's Sunday Telegraph reports that now even the CIA thinks that Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri was a double agent.
But his decision to fly back voluntarily, claiming outlandishly that he was kidnapped by CIA and Saudi agents during a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia last June and then tortured in the US, has prompted suspicions that he was a double agent working for Iran all along, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.

There are also questions about why the Iranian authorities allowed him to travel alone to Saudi Arabia, despite his sensitive work, and why he left his family behind if he was intending to leave Iran permanently.

And his role as one of the sources for the now heavily disputed 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that downplayed Iran's suspected nuclear weapons operations has raised further doubts. The US intelligence community has been working on a new NIE that will give a much more alarming assessment of the Islamic republication's atomic bomb ambitions.

The CIA nonetheless believed that Mr Amiri was a genuine defector as he was debriefed in Arizona and revealed information about how the Tehran university where he worked was the covert headquarters for the country's atomic programme.

"The CIA would not have been paying $5 million unless they had vetted him carefully and believed he was genuine," said Art Keller, a former agency case officer who worked on Iran's nuclear and missile programmes.

"They think he was legitimate. Iranian nuclear physicists do not grow on trees. And to get someone with really good access, sometimes you have to wave a really big potential payday for him."

Another former CIA operative, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Sunday Telegraph that the agency was investigating whether Mr Amiri was a double agent - a possible explanation for his mysterious actions.

Even if was not a "double", there are fears that he will reveal key information to his Iranian interrogators about what US officials know about the country's nuclear programme - itself vital intelligence in the game of atomic cat-and-mouse between Tehran and the West.
Hmmm. I doubt we'll ever know for sure. But it's pretty clear that he's now going to tell the Iranians whatever he knows. If he's been on their side all along, that's his job. If he was on our side and decided to go back for whatever reason, telling them all he knows is his only chance of saving himself.


At 2:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please... tell me the CIA weren't stupid enough to reveal to him what THEY know. Surely not???

At 3:37 AM, Blogger MUSHI said...

perhaps everyone is miss reading why he returns to Iran.

What if, he knows aproximattely when and the magnitude of the attack to Iran. What if the U.S. let him return to try to convince his family to get out of there and perhaps give false information to teheran??.

this is only hypotetical but i don't buy the scenario of a dobule agent, because in frist place he never was a spy.

he was just a nuclear physicsist who escape Iran.

At 3:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

doesnt matter...he set himself up for a hit by someone

i give him 2-3 years


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