The Iranian nuclear scientist who returned to Iran and claimed he was
abducted by the CIA was received as a national hero by Tehran, but after
his public role is done, he may face different treatment from the
The scientist, Shahrma Amiri, was reported
to have taken $5m from the CIA for revealing Iranian secrets, including
contributing to a 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate that concluded
Iran had stopped work on its nuclear program, said the New York Times Friday.
Amiri's public role is done, however, former CIA officials say he
probably will face intense questioning about his defection from Iran's
Ministry of Intelligence and Security and a future etched in fear.
is at the center of a volatile war of words between Iran and the United
States, with each country trading public salvos designed to discredit
the other. His short career as an apparent defector and informant for
the United States also will expose him to pressure from Iranian
officials for information about his American handlers and to even more
perilous questions about his loyalty.
"They will keep him in fear
and in doubt as to what his eventual fate will be," said Paul Pillar, a
former CIA analyst with extensive knowledge of Iran. "From the private,
official Iranian point of view, this guy is an awful traitor. If it
weren't for the public relations aspect, he might have been strung up
yesterday already or shot."