The curious case of Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri and his recent return to Tehran raises many fascinating questions, not least what happened to him over the last 18 months.
Tehran Bureau wonders whether he may have been an Iranian double agent:
The…possibility is that his defection was fake and that Amiri was in fact tasked with the mission of acting like a genuine defector in order to embarrass Iran’s adversaries, gain knowledge of their “methods and techniques,” and score a noteworthy political and diplomatic victory. Already, hardline papers are touting it as a major “intelligence coup” on their front pages. Though it is likely that Amiri divulged some state secrets to his interrogators — as it is assumed he did concerning the Fordo nuclear plant — if he was indeed a double agent, his superiors must have weighed the cost and benefits of his “defection” and concluded that there was more to be gained by his going over to the other side than not. It is also possible that they suspected the West knew about Fordo already.