The Iranian Sunni Baluchi underground Jund Allah announced Wednesday, Dec. 22, that it intends to execute Amir Hossein Shirani, a senior Iranian nuclear scientist, whom the organization abducted on Oct. 8 at the entrance of the secret Iranian nuclear facility in Isfahan, 340 kilometers south of Tehran. If Jund Allah carries out its decision, Amir Shirani will become the first senior Iranian nuclear expert to be captured and put to death by a terrorist organization. He will also be the second nuclear scientist Iran has lost in a single month: On Nov. 29, unknown killers assassinated Dr. Majid Shahriari, head of the program combating the Stuxnet malworm invading Iran's computers.
The Jund Allah spokesman Abdel Raouf Rigi made this announcement Wednesday: "We will execute this man after the Iranian authorities refused to respond to our demands."
Those demands, debkafile's counter-terror sources report, were for the release of 200 jailed individuals defined as "Iranian Baluchi politicians" and Jundallah members. He denied that the 11 men Iran hanged Monday, Dec. 20, were members of Jund Allah, as claimed by Tehran.
"Iran is lying as usual," said Rigi. Those [hanged] were not members of the organization. They have tribal links to some resistance fighters, but they had nothing to do with our recent operations in Iran."
Our intelligence sources report that after Shirani was kidnapped, Tehran tried claiming he was only a common driver and cleaner at Isfahan and had nothing to do with the plant's scientific activities. But Western intelligence knew better and even then identified him as a cousin of Ahmed Sultani, one of the leading lights of Iran's nuclear program and director of the Isfahan facility, which is a secret uranium enrichment plant for nuclear weapons.
Iran makes a practice of employing members of the same family in its most secretive plants as a precaution against leaks of information, espionage and defections.
On Nov. 28, Jund Allah aired a recorded interview with the captured scientist on the Saudi Al Arabiyah TV channel, in which he admitted he had worked for three years in enriching uranium at the secret nuclear research center in Isfahan, having been recruited by a relative Ahmed Sultani, general manager of the facility. "During the time I worked there, I learnt the center was enriching uranium for manufacturing nuclear weapons," he said. "Because engineer Sultani was my relative, I got toattend most of the meetings," said the captured scientist.
"Work at the center," he disclosed added, "went on 24 hours a dayand was divided into three shifts. Around 50 engineers worked in each shift."
Having extracted all the kidnapped expert's secrets, including the names and functions of the staff at Isfahan, Jund Allah offered to hand him over in return for inmates held in Iranian jails. But Tehran decided it had no further need of the expert and had no qualms about abandoning him to his fate with his captors.