An Iranian nuclear scientist who had been detained since 2010 has been executed according to his family, the BBC has reported.
Shahram Amiri’s mother told the BBC that her son’s body had been returned to their hometown, apparently after being hanged as his neck bore rope marks. His body was later buried.
Amiri had been detained at a secret location after returning from the US in 2010, where he said he had been forcibly taken by the CIA. Amiri was a nuclear researcher at Malek Ashtar University of Technology and worked for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization and had in-depth knowledge of Iran’s nuclear programme.
Amiri had gone missing after taking a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia in 2009. In June 2010, videos apparently recorded in US emerged showing Amiri claiming that he had been kidnapped and forced to answer sensitive questions by the CIA. On 13 July, 2010, Amiri reappeared in Iranian interests section of Pakistan’s embassy in Washington DC, asking to return to Iran. Again on July 15, the same year, he appeared in Iran claiming to have escaped from US custody and was welcomed by officials. However, in May 2011, Amiri had been arrested and reportedly tried for treason.
The US has claimed that Amiri had defected on his own free will and shared “useful information.”
In 2015, Amiri’s father Asgar Amiri had told the BBC Persian that he had not been allowed to see or talk to his son for more than a year and that he feared for his life.
Iran has been accused of developing nuclear weapons for years but the country has denied it and says that they are only using for civilian nuclear energy. Economic sanctions on Iran were lifted in 2016 after it agreed to roll back the scope of its nuclear activities.
(With inputs from Agencies)