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Is this how you want your tax dollars spent?

WASHINGTON – 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.


Asked by sweet-a-kins at 10:24 AM on Jul. 15, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

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Answers (24)
  • It won't surprise me if the guy turns up dead or missing soon. Right now, NO I do not want my tax dollars spent this way.

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 12:16 PM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • When someone starts the question with "is this how you want your tax dollars spent, I usually know the answer is going to be "no".

    But don't we want to know what's going on in Iran? It would make sense that we'd have to pay a spy...seems like this guy was the wrong choice...

    Answer by lovinangels at 10:28 AM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • I would.

    I imagine (and this is total speculation) that he returned to Iran out of fear for his loved ones and will say whatever Iran tells him to say.

    Answer by Bezu at 10:45 AM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • Iran might be offering a heroes welcome, but I guarantee this man's career is damaged in his home country.  They won't put him near anywhere near anything top secret, and he will always be suspect.  Iran is making a big deal in order to attempt to embarrass the U.S.  Of course the scientist is going to claim he gave no information, he couldn't very well go back to Iran admitting he did, can he?


    Answer by mancosmomma at 10:48 AM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • Sweet, the article says the SCIENTIST is making the claim he was offered 50 million. NOT the CIA.

    Answer by mancosmomma at 10:50 AM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • The scientist CLAIMS he had no information and was offered $50 million. He also CLAIMS he was abducted by the CIA. The CIA CLAIMS he defected willingly.

    We don't know the truth.

    Answer by mancosmomma at 10:37 AM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • but $50million was offered to a man with no information....

    Correction: It was offered to a man that SAID he had no information after returning to his country that he defected from after working with the CIA for almost a year.

    We don't have near enough details to speculate. Also, many of these "secret" programs are funded privately, not that I would object to tax money being spent on obtaining information about opposing countries' nuclear programs.

    Answer by twin_mommy at 10:38 AM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • Him going back a hero, has everything to do with HIS country, and not us. He lied, and we didn't care to make him out to not be one. He also said that he was kidnapped. We also don't know that we got no results. I don't think that we would pay $5 mil for NO information, but if we did, we have made worse investments.

    Answer by twin_mommy at 10:42 AM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • Bad publicity, yes. Whether we got information or not, unknown. The CIA isn't going to offer an official rebuttal to the scientist's statement, are they? I

    Answer by mancosmomma at 10:44 AM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • I doubt they promised that much unless they were certain they could get valuable information out of him. I also doubt they would have given it to him unless he gave valuable information.

    Anyone who defects then changes his mind has a weak character. I wouldn't put much credence into anything he said.

    Answer by MunchMunch at 10:57 AM on Jul. 15, 2010