CIA says it had moved Ira­nian to U.S. out of safety con­cerns

Austin American-Statesman - - WORLD & NATION - By Greg Miller

WASHINGTON — The Ira­nian sci­en­tist who re­turned to his home­land this week was one of two CIA in­for­mants whisked out of Iran last year by the agency amid con­cerns that the Tehran govern­ment had dis­cov­ered they were pro­vid­ing se­crets to the United States, cur­rent and for­mer U.S. of­fi­cials said.

Be­fore his abrupt re­turn to Iran, Shahram Amiri was among half a dozen sources who had pro­vided in­for­ma­tion to the CIA from in­side Iran’s nu­clear pro­gram and were sub­se­quently re­set­tled in the United States, of­fi­cials said. All were given re­ward pack­ages — in­clud­ing the $5 mil­lion set aside for Amiri — ad­min­is­tered by fi­nan­cial firms out­side the CIA’s con­trol.

U.S. of­fi­cials said that when Amiri was brought to the U.S., it was his de­ci­sion not to try to bring his wife and son.

The dis­clo­sures are among the de­tails that have sur­faced about the CIA’s ef­forts to gather in­tel­li­gence on Iran, as well as its han­dling of de­fec­tors from that coun­try, since Amiri’s highly pub­lic re­turn to Tehran.

Amiri was among a small net­work of spies in­side Iran Ira­nian sci­en­tist Shahram Amiri was one of two CIA in­for­mants aided, U.S. of­fi­cials say. that had pro­vided in­tel­li­gence about nu­clear pro­grams and sites for sev­eral years, cur­rent and for­mer U.S. of­fi­cials said. Some were brought out be­cause they wanted to re­lo­cate, but Amiri and a sec­ond in­for­mant were pushed to leave Iran af­ter in­di­ca­tions that they had come un­der sus­pi­cion by Iran’s Min­istry of In­tel­li­gence and Se­cu­rity.

“There was fear of ex­po­sure,” said a for­mer se­nior U.S. in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cial fa­mil­iar with the cases. One had got­ten “sloppy” in his com­mu­ni­ca­tions with the spy agency, the for­mer of­fi­cial said, and even when told of the risk re­mained, in Iran “longer than we thought pru­dent.”

Vahid Salemi

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.