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October 8, 2009

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Iran blames US in scientist case

IRAN'S foreign minister said yesterday that the United States may have had a role in the disappearance of an Iranian nuclear scientist in Saudi Arabia earlier this year, state TV reported.

Scientist Shahram Amiri vanished during a pilgrimage to the Saudi kingdom in late May, Iranian authorities have said. Relatives quoted in Iranian media have said Amiri researches medical uses of nuclear technology at a Tehran university.

His disappearance came months before the revelation of a second uranium enrichment facility that Iran has been building near the city of Qom, raising speculation that Amiri may have given the West information on it or other parts of the nuclear program. Relatives said Amiri was not involved in the broader nuclear program beyond his research.

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said yesterday that "we have evidence of a US role in disappearance of the Iranian national ... in Saudi Arabia. ... There is evidence to suggest the United States was involved," according to Press TV, the state-run English-language channel.


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