An Iranian nuclear scientist, Shahram Amiri, was executed in Iran, according to reports on Saturday. The day before his execution, his family visited him for the last time.
Shahram Amiri was executed on August 3 as confirmed by the family, and his body was returned to his hometown with rope marks around his neck, indicating that he had been hanged. He was buried in the western city of Kermanshah.
Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri 'executed' https://t.co/Ao8WY7KLqD— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) August 6, 2016
Shahram Amiri worked as a nuclear scientist for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization and as a researcher at the Malek-Ashtar University of Technology. Allegedly, Amiri had a huge and in-depth understanding of Iran’s nuclear program, which they have long denied.
Within a year, Amiri went from being a national hero to a prisoner. It was in 2009 when he first disappeared. He was taking a pilgrimage to Mecca and said he was abducted by security agents from Saudi Arabia, but resurfaced in Washington D.C a year later.
While in the U.S., he recorded and posted a series of videos claiming he had been abducted by the CIA. He said he was under intense psychological pressure and asked to reveal secret messages regarding Iran’s nuclear power and their locations.
In a second video, he hinted that he was living in Arizona and wanted to study there. Yet, a later video revealed that he wanted to go back to Iran.
“They took me to a house located somewhere that I didn’t know. They gave me an anesthetic injection,” he said in a video recording.
Some Iranian officials supported his claims, saying both secret agents of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have been involved in his abduction.
He made his way home in 2010 as a national hero. After a year, it was confirmed that Mr. Amiri was not abducted, but had defected of his own free will. He was later accused of providing “useful and classified information” to the CIA.
Iran has long been suspected of seeking to develop nuclear weapons and artilleries, an allegation which they have constantly denied by saying they are pursuing civilian nuclear energy.
After agreeing to the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and P5+1 group of world powers – the U.S., U.K., France, China, Russia and Germany – the International Atomic Energy has restricted its sensitive nuclear activities in Iran.
This will prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and says that it has the right to nuclear energy. In July 2015, Iran had almost 20,000 centrifuges, where uranium hexafluoride gas is fed to separate out the most fissile isotope U-235, producing fuel for nuclear power plants.
Shahram Amiri was later arrested and kept under custody for treason and for sharing classified documents. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Several reports emerged suggesting his family had come under immense pressure from the authorities in Iran to persuade him to return home. The family was allowed to have a visit and make a telephone call up until last year.
Speaking to the BBC, his family said that he had been kept under detention in Iran and they feared for his life.
“I have talked to all the major government offices, I have sent letters to everyone,” his father said. “But there has been no response.”
It was believed that he revealed the information in exchange for five million dollars and was confirmed by officials that he had been a CIA spy in Iran for several years.
Another report from the Wall Street Journal said that Shahram Amiri had been on a mission and had succeeded in extracting “valuable detailed information from the Central Intelligence Agency.” He was given five years of exile for his activities against national security and governmental services.
As none of these allegations were confirmed or denied, Shahram Amiri’s life had always been shrouded in mystery and upon his death, these mysteries remain unanswered.
[Photo by ATN1 DK via APTN/AP Photos]