x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Missing scientist 'handed over' to US

An Iranian nuclear scientist who went missing in Saudi Arabia has been 'handed over by Riyadh to Washington'.

An Iranian nuclear scientist who went missing in Saudi Arabia has been "handed over by Riyadh to Washington", the Mehr news agency reported, quoting Tehran's foreign ministry spokesman. "Shahram Amiri, Iran's nuclear scientist who had gone to haj in Saudi Arabia, was handed over by Riyadh to Washington," Ramin Mehmanparast told Mehr, referring to umra, a lesser pilgrimage to Islam's holiest sites. The spokesman said Mr Amiri was one of 11 Iranian detainees currently held in US jails.

His statement was the first acknowledgement by Tehran that Mr Amiri was a nuclear scientist. Iranian officials have previously said Mr Amiri went missing in Saudi Arabia soon after he landed there as a pilgrim earlier this year. * AFP