The Iranian scholar who went missing last year while on pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia has confirmed his abduction by the US in a video message.
Shahram Amiri, a researcher at Iran's Malek Ashtar University, insisted in the message released on Monday that he was kidnapped by US agents en route to Mecca in June 2009.
"I am Shahram Amiri, a lecturer at Malek Ashtar University, and at the moment I am in the town of Tucson in the US state of Arizona. I was abducted on the 13th of Khordad 1388 in a joint operation by terror and kidnap teams from the US intelligence service CIA and Saudi Arabia's Istikhbarat. I was kidnapped from the holy city of Medina," Amiri said.
Amiri stated that his abduction was intended to put political pressure on the Iranian government and called on the international community to help him gain his freedom.
"I ask international and humanitarian organizations and those that are involved in freeing prisoners in other countries to seriously follow my case because I was unjustly kidnapped from a third country and brought to the US, and I ask them to do everything they can to help me return to my dear county Iran," he added.
When the news broke of Amiri's disappearance last year, Iranian officials claimed the US was involved in the incident. Washington, however, denied any involvement in Amiri's disappearance or knowledge of his whereabouts.
The Saudi government also claimed to have no information on the fate of the missing Iranian scholar.
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