On Sunday, the Iranian Supreme Court confirmed the execution of nuclear physicist Shahram Amiri for revealing top secrets to the United States.
Amiri was arrested upon his return to Iran and tried for treason. He was initially given a long prison sentence but something changed recently that prodded the Iranian government to call for his immediate execution.
It turns out, Amiri was mentioned in emails exchanged between Hillary Clinton and her advisers while she was Secretary of State. It’s believed one of the non-classified emails released by the State Department last year may have convinced the Iranian government that the nuclear scientist was a defector and spy for the United States.
New Hillary Clinton emails released by the State Department appear to lift the curtain on the bizarre circumstances surrounding Shahram Amiri, an Iranian nuclear scientist who claims to have been abducted by the CIA.
The just-released emails, which were sent to Clinton back in 2010, seem to support what State Department sources have long maintained: that Amiri was not abducted, but a defector and paid informant who changed his mind about helping the U.S.
The emails also appear to offer insight into the department’s plans to get Amiri back to Iran safely.
Amiri’s complicated story began. Fast forward to Two weeks later, on July 14, 2010, CNN reported that Amiri had returned to Tehran after going to Iran’s interest section at the embassy of Pakistan in Washington. CNN’s report appears to directly correspond with an email Clinton’s top foreign policy adviser Jake Sullivan sent her, now being released by the State Department.
In the email — written two days before the CNN report — Sullivan expressed fear of the media catching wind of the story, writing: “The gentleman you have talked to Bill Burns about has apparently gone to his country’s interests [sic] section because he is unhappy with how much time it has taken to facilitate his departure. This could lead to problematic news stories in the next 24 hours. Will keep you posted.”
An earlier email seemingly shows how the State Department worked to carefully craft Amiri’s return to Iran.