July 14, 2010
Posted: 1013 GMT
By the CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) - Shahram Amiri - a nuclear scientist Tehran claimed was kidnapped by U.S. agents - told a state-run television station in Iran that he was abducted by U.S. intelligence officials and faced "psychological warfare and pressure that are much worse than being in prison."
A man who says he is Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri appears in a YouTube video.
State-run Press TV said Wednesday that Amiri spoke in an interview after his escape, telling the channel, "I think I will be unable to get into details during this limited period of time and I will postpone it to when I am hopefully in my dear country Iran, so I can speak to the media and my own people with ease of mind and tell them about my ordeal over the past 14 months."
Amiri has left the United States and is headed back to Iran, the country's state-run media said Wednesday morning.
"Following the Islamic Republic's efforts and with the effective cooperation of the embassy of Pakistan in Washington ... Shahram Amiri left the United States and will arrive in Tehran via a third country," the news agency, IRNA, reported - quoting a foreign ministry spokesman.
Amiri, who is a researcher from Tehran's Malek Ashtar University, mysteriously disappeared in June 2009 while on a religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, according to Iranian media reports.
On Monday, Amiri went to Iran's Interest Section at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington and asked to be sent home.
The Iranian government has accused the United States of involvement in Amiri's disappearance, with Iran saying the researcher was taken to force him to give up data about Tehran's nuclear program.
In the Press TV interview, Amiri said he was kidnapped in Medina, Saudi Arabia, by three men in a van.
"Once I got into the van, the man who was inside said to me, 'Don't make any noise.' I was confused at the moment and had no idea what was happening," Amiri said Wednesday.
According to Amiri, he was later drugged and transported to the United States in a plane.
"I was under very special circumstances for 14 months in the United States. I was not completely free, nor was I like a prisoner, that is, in shackles as viewers might think," Amiri added. "I was in a completely unique situation which is very difficult to describe."
Press TV reported that Amiri was offered $10 million in bribes to cooperate with the United States.
A top Iranian lawmaker recently claimed that newly found documents back up Tehran's claims that the CIA is responsible for Amiri's disappearance, Iranian media reported Sunday.
Javad Jahangirzadeh, a member of Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said Iranian officials had turned over the documents to the Swiss ambassador in Tehran.
The U.S. State Department has denied that charge.
A U.S. official, who is not authorized to talk to the media about such issues, told CNN last month that it would be "ludicrous, absurd and even preposterous" to claim an individual was kidnapped by the United States and held against his will.
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