Amiri stands with his father upon his arrival at Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran. AFP / Atta KENARE AND Atta KENARE
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Iran executed a nuclear scientist who defected to the U.S. in 2009 and later returned to the Islamic Republic under mysterious circumstances a year later, authorities said Sunday, acknowledging for the first time that they had secretly detained, tried and convicted a man authorities once heralded as a hero.News about Amiri, born in 1977, has been scant since his return to Iran.Manoto, a private satellite television channel based in London believed to be run by those who back Iran's ousted shah, first reported Saturday that Amiri had been executed.U.S. officials told the AP in 2010 that Amiri was paid $5 million to offer the CIA information about Iran's nuclear program, though he left the country without the money. Analysts abroad suggested Iranian authorities may have threatened Amiri's family back in Iran, forcing him to return.Amiri's case indirectly found its way back into the spotlight in the U.S. last year with the release of emails sent by U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton while she served as secretary of state.
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