After completing a trip to Syria, he crossed by land to Turkey and defected to the West. Some believe that his defection was handled by the CIA. This angered Iranian authorities greatly, as such defections are political, and—more importantly—an intelligence blow.
And now there are more stories circulating about two other mystery defectors. The first is Shahram Amiri, who has gone missing in Saudi Arabia. According to the Sharq Al Wasat newspaper, he was a nuclear scientist who worked at the recently exposed nuclear site in Qom.
He took refuge in Saudi Arabia after a recent pilgrimage to the country in July this year. According to the article, no connection has been made between his disappearance and the recent discovery of the nuclear site in Qom.
Meanwhile, the spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry, Hassan Ghashghavi, called on Saudi Authorities to help find Mr. Amiri. Ghashghavi denied that Amiri worked at Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, referring to him instead as a 'civil servant.'
However, suspicions were raised due to the attention given by Iranian authorities to Amiri's case. Every year, thousands of Iranians travel to Saudi Arabia.
There are many cases of missing persons and Iranian Foreign Ministry does not address most of them. In fact, many people in Iran complain about the poor job the Foreign Ministry does in protecting their interests in Saudi Arabia.
In this case, it is possible that after the Sharq Al Wasat report it felt compelled to act. However, the possibility that Amiri was more than a Civil Servant cannot be ruled out either.