WASHINGTON (AP) — The CIA paid an Iranian nuclear scientist $5 million to provide intelligence on Iran’s nuclear program, a newspaper reported Thursday.
The scientist, Shahram Amiri, returned to Iran on Wednesday to a hero’s welcome after claiming he was abducted by U.S. agents and then offered $50 million to stay in the U.S.
The U.S. says Amiri was a willing defector who changed his mind and asked to go back to Iran.
The Washington Post said that Amiri had been working for the CIA for more than a year. It said he was paid $5 million out of a secret program aimed at inducing scientists and others with information on Iran’s nuclear program to defect. But Amiri should be unable to get to that money now that he’s returned to Iran, which is under financial sanctions, U.S. officials told the Post.
Amiri says he had no classified information.