The Iranian nuclear scientist, Shahram Amiri was recently executed in Iran for treason. He was accused of passing on national secrets related to the Iranian nuclear program to the United States. He defected to the United States in 2009 but in 2010 he returned home in order to be with his family. Shortly after his return, he was imprisoned. According to New York Magazine,

In 2009, Amiri, an expert in radioactive isotopes, disappeared during a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, leading to Iranian accusations that he had been kidnapped by the West. Months later, Amiri reappeared in the U.S. following an apparent defection facilitated by the CIA, but things only got weirder from there.

Once in America, Amiri published a series of mysterious and contradictory online videos. In the first video, recorded with a shaky webcam and released on Iranian state television, Amiri said that he had been kidnapped in Medina, Saudi Arabia, by the CIA and Saudi intelligence and was being held captive in the U.S. In a second video, well-produced with Amiri sitting next to a chess set, he explained that he was fine and free, and pursuing a graduate degree in America. That video was published on YouTube. In a third video, released on Iranian TV again, Amiri was back to insisting he was in the U.S. against his will, and said he was being hunted by the CIA.

Then, to everyone’s shock, Amiri arrived at the Iranian interest section at the Pakistani embassy in Washington, D.C., and asked officials there if he could go home.

The New York Times reported that Amiri was passing on intelligence to the CIA while working in Iran’s nuclear program. Feeling like his position was about to be compromised, he defected to the United States leaving behind his wife and son.

By 2009, the C.I.A. had apparently decided that the chances he would be detected were rising, and offered to get him out of the country. The agency promised him $5 million and a new identity. Mr. Amiri believed his estranged wife would never leave Iran, and he decided to go alone, without his son.

After he was interviewed in Washington, he ended up near Tucson, under the agency’s national resettlement program, which provides cover and protection for cooperative foreign spies. But he immediately missed his young son, and began calling home. Iranian intelligence agencies pressured his family, and by one account threatened to harm his son.- New York Times

Iran was probably already onto his spying before he left for Hajj but their suspicions were confirmed when he went missing. I don’t think any cover story, no matter how airtight, would have saved him from his fate. Iran has and always will be suspicious of America, “the Great Satan.”