Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The curious case of Shahram Amiri

Theories are rife and at the moment nobody knows what was behind the whole scenario. But against the backdrop of the Islamic regime coupled with the ever increasing social and political fault-lines in the country, it would not be a tremendous surprise to see many Iranians, given the chance, defect to safer, freer parts of the world and Shahram Amiri is most probably no exception. Brushing aside many of far fetched theories one can narrow it down to two or at best three scenarios.

The first scenario is one that the Islamic regime is desperately pushing for, which is that Amiri was in fact abducted, presumably to gain more intel on Iran’s nuclear ambitions and capabilities. While not easy to rule out as an an impossibility, this theory has plenty of loop holes that makes one think twice before committing to it.

Let us assume this were true and the Americans did capture and abduct Amiri in Saudi Arabia and brought him to the States under the strict supervision of CIA and FBI (according to the Islamic regime’s spokesmen). Any sane mind would immediately question how on earth this abductee under the nose of CIA and FBI operatives somehow get his hands on a computer and camera, find access to the internet and the time to send out his supposed S.O.S. video messages on youtube to Iran?

Even less plausible is to fathom how Amiri, single-handedly bested the security apparatus of the CIA and FBI, escaped their clutches, and somehow traveled to Washington DC from Arizona undetected and with no trouble! This simply defies all manner of logic and rationale and reads more like a fictional yarn spun by the likes of Ludlum or Le Carre. Except Amiri is hardly a Jason Bourne.

The second theory could be Amiri, willingly defected with the help of the Saudis and American agents in Saudi Arabia and was brought to the States, wherein he decided to continue his education in Tucson, Arizona. A fact that he attested to in his interview with ABC, a total contrast to the grainy youtube S.O.S. message. But the Islamic regime, as is their Modus Operandi, applied pressure or even threatened the lives of his family members in Iran to force him to change his mind and returning to Iran, and under the pretense of “abduction" besmear the U.S. government. This is extremely likely given the nature of the regime in Iran and their utter disregard for human life, be it Iranian or otherwise, when their benefit is involved. Threatening people’s families has precedence and is a frequent mode of pressure tactic employed by them. So the hapless Amiri has no recourse but to bend to the pressure and leave his studies and return. Personally, I believe this is the most probable scenario.

The third scenario may be a bit of a stretch, but then again, in the world of espionage and clandestine operations, anything is possible. Amiri, being a member of the notorious Revolutionary Guards Corps’ science division, was merely a plant who was supposed to seek defection primarily and after being relocated to the States, start this charade of being tortured and pleading for his escape and return to Iran, thus, supposedly, inflicting a wound to the US image in the world and perhaps gain a dubious public relations victory for the Islamic state!!

But which sane person would believe that? CIA and FBI threatened him to expose all the nuclear secrets or they are going to torture him by feeding him … well??
Comparing his photos in Iran, before his supposed “abduction”, and the obese fellow in recent videos, it seems he had not cooperated with his “apparent abductors” and they had no choice but to torture him with tons of cheese burger and milk-shake!! Do the latest photos show a tortured and distressed man in peril?

Amiri, before and after his "abduction"(!!)

Amiri’s tale will be spun by the regime’s spin doctors at the IRIB and they will bend reality to gain as much millage out of it as possible. But who will buy that, except the naïve, and the ill-informed minority who still get their news from the disgraceful IRIB. Yes, you may even see biased international networks like Al-Jazeera (always in service of the Islamic governments in the region, and hardly the people of those nations) or Russia’s R.T. (‘Russia Today’, who just love to paint a distorted image of the west, to hell with reality or authentication) have a field day about this too. But eventually, sanity and logic ought to prevail and all this hoopla will die down a death much like the other forgotten, insignificant attempts of the Islamic regime to gain political millage or hit at the west.

In the end, Amiri may or may not survive the episode as the regime has the horrific penchant of being ultimately vindictive and unforgiving, especially with the likes of Amiri who for all accounts, may have revealed many secrets pertaining to Iran's nuclear program.

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