Missing Iranian scientist appears at embassy in US
A missing Iranian nuclear scientist, who Tehran says was kidnapped a year ago by the CIA, has taken refuge in the Iran section of Pakistan's US embassy.
A spokesman from Pakistan's Foreign Office, Abdul Basit, told the BBC that Shahram Amiri was seeking immediate repatriation to Iran.
In June videos purportedly of Mr Amiri but containing contradictory information on his whereabouts emerged.
The US rejected Tehran's claims that it was behind Mr Amiri's disappearance.
Mr Amiri went missing a year ago while on pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
Iranian media say Mr Amiri worked as a researcher at a university in Tehran, but some reports say he worked for the country's atomic energy organisation and had in-depth knowledge of its controversial nuclear programme.
ABC News reported in March that he had defected and was helping the CIA, revealing valuable information about the Iranian nuclear programme.
But earlier this month, Tehran said it had proof he was being held in the US.
The allegation came after three videos purportedly of Mr Amiri emerged - the first said he had been kidnapped, the second that he was living freely in Arizona, and the third that he had escaped from his captors.
The BBC's former correspondent in Tehran, Jon Leyne, says that Iran's version of the story seems to be backed up by events unfolding in Washington DC.
Our correspondent says Mr Amiri's sudden appearance is a major embarrassment for the American spy agencies and could lead to a diplomatic standoff.
THE US CLAIM
But later, the US State Department said the Iranian nuclear scientist is free to leave.
Spokesman P J Crowley rejected Iran's claim that Shahram Amiri, who surfaced at the Pakistani embassy in the US on Tuesday, was held against his will.
The US denied Tehran's claims that it abducted Mr Amiri.
"He has been in the United States of his own free will and obviously he is free to go," Mr Crowley said.