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Shahram Amiri: Iran defector story just keeps getting stranger

Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri may not have been a defector at all. Some think he was a double agent sent to find out how much the US knows about Iran's nuclear program.

Standing next to his father, Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri flashes a victory sign at the conclusion of his news briefing in Tehran Thursday. Some bloggers found the gesture amusing, since it's associated with the opposition "Green Movement."

Vahid Salemi/AP

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Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri is back home with his family – and likely undergoing some friendly questioning about the strange story of his defection to the United States. If “defection” in fact is what it was, because the story just keeps getting stranger.

Reports Sunday paint a murky picture: That the CIA now thinks Amiri may have been a double agent; That the US wanted to swap him for three US hikers in custody in Tehran, who in fact were spies themselves; That Amiri had been a US informant for several years before he left Iran; That he was one of two US spies spirited out of Iran when the CIA feared their cover was about to be blown.

The British newspaper the Sunday Telegraph reports that the CIA suspects that Amiri was a double agent, sent here to find out how much the US knows about Iran’s nuclear program.


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