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Tehran rejects "abducted" Iranian scientist swapped with three American hikers

07-15-2010 15:01 BJT

TEHRAN, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Tehran on Thursday rejected claims that the United States exchanged the "abducted" Iranian scholar for three American hikers arrested in Iran.

An image grab taken from Iran's state-run English-language Press TV shows Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
An image grab taken from Iran's state-run English-language Press TV shows Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
Iran's ex-spokesman of Foreign Ministry Hassan Qashqavi rejected the claims that the 32-year-old Iranian scholar Shahram Amiri, who had gone missing on a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia last June was exchanged with the three Americans arrested in Iran on July 31, 2009.

The three Americans, Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal, were arrested in Iran after they illegally entered the country from its western boarders. The Iranian authorities have warned that the three could be trialed in the country.

The American side has not claimed this (the swap) and it is not true, the semi-official Fars news agency quoted Qashqavi as saying.

"These scenarios (of exchange) are just propaganda that the foreign media are following and (these claims) are totally baseless," Qashqavi told reporters upon Amiri's arrival at Tehran' s Imam Khomeini airport on Thursday morning.

The Iranian scholar said he was kidnapped by the CIA agents in Saudi Arabia and was transferred to the United States.

The abduction was part of the U.S. campaign to exert political pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, said Amiri.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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