Iranian nuke scientist defects to US

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Washington, Mar.31 (ANI): An Iranian nuclear scientist has defected to the United States and according to sources in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) will be resettled there.

US intelligence officials told ABC News that nuclear physicist Shahram Amiri, who Iran says disappeared last year after going to Saudi Arabia on a pilgrimage, was part of a long-planned CIA operation to get him to defect.

The CIA contacted the scientist through an intermediary in Iran who made the resettlement offer on behalf of the United States, according to ABC.

The US officials described the defection as "an intelligence coup".

Iran's Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mottaki has accused Washington of kidnapping Amiri, though his whereabouts had gone unreported until now.

Former White House counter-terrorism official Richard Clarke, however, said: "Just taking one scientist out of the program will not really disrupt it."

A CIA spokesperson declined to comment on the ABC report. (ANI)

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