Saudi Arabia said it "deplored" Iran's claim that an Iranian nuclear scientist was abducted on a pilgrimage to Mecca and handed over to the United States, a Saudi newspaper reported Wednesday. Aaudi Arabia's Foreign Ministry spokesman Osama Nugali told Asharq Alawsat that he was "stunned by the declarations and allegations" from Tehran, which he "deplored."
According to Nugali, nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri's disappearance had sparked an extensive investigation by the Saudi authorities. "After having been informed of his disappearance by the Iranian delegation (in Mecca), Saudi authorities undertook an intensive search in Medina as well as in all the hospitals in the region of Mecca," Nugali conveyed.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Tuesday accused Washington of abducting Amiri, who went missing while on a minor pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia earlier this year. "Based on existing pieces of evidence that we have at our disposal the Americans had a role in Mr. Amiri's abduction," Mottaki said, according to AFP.