Remarks
Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
July 13, 2010


MR. CROWLEY: Very quickly. Regarding –

QUESTION: He hasn’t started yet.

QUESTION: Oh, okay.

MR. CROWLEY: Regarding Mr. –

QUESTION: Is this on the record?

MR. CROWLEY: Yes, yes, yes, yes. Yeah, regarding Mr. Amiri, he has been in the United States of his own free will, and obviously, he is free to go. In fact, he was scheduled to travel to Iran yesterday, but was unable to make all of the necessary arrangements to reach Iran through transit countries.

QUESTION: I’m sorry, P.J. Can you say that again?

MR. CROWLEY: Sure.

QUESTION: Could you start again, P.J.?

MR. CROWLEY: I can start again.

QUESTION: Thank you very much.

MR. CROWLEY: Mr. Amiri has been in the United States of his own free will, and he is obviously free to go. In fact, he was scheduled to travel to Iran yesterday, but was unable to make all of the necessary arrangements to reach Iran through transit countries.

QUESTION: When did he get here? When and how did he get here?

MR. CROWLEY: I’m not going to comment about –

QUESTION: Why was –

MR. CROWLEY: -- about how he got to the United States. He came here of his own free will and he has chosen to return to Iran.

QUESTION: Can you say where he is right now?

MR. CROWLEY: Right now, I believe he’s at the Pakistani Embassy.

QUESTION: Do you know how he got there?

QUESTION: Is that the Iran --

MR. CROWLEY: Huh?

QUESTION: Do you know how he got there?

MR. CROWLEY: He traveled there on his own.

QUESTION: P.J. can you –

QUESTION: He has a car?

QUESTION: -- repeat whatever you said at the top? (Laughter.)

QUESTION: It wasn’t by a cab.

QUESTION: What did he ask?

MR. CROWLEY: Huh?

QUESTION: He was dropped off and it wasn’t by a cab. (Laughter.)

MR. CROWLEY: Look, I’m not going to talk about – we’ve been on the record many times before. Mr. Amiri came to the United States of his own free will. He’s been here for some time. I’m not going to specify how long. But he has chosen to return to Iran and is in the process of making appropriate travel arrangements.

QUESTION: When is he leaving?

MR. CROWLEY: That’s whenever he gets the travel documents that he needs to be able to transit other countries en route back to Iran.

QUESTION: Where has he been since --

QUESTION: Did he give you any information about Iran’s nuclear program?

MR. CROWLEY: He has not given me any information. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Where --

QUESTION: Did he give the U.S. Government any information?

MR. CROWLEY: I can’t tell you.

QUESTION: Where has he been since he’s been in the U.S.?

MR. CROWLEY: I do not know.

QUESTION: Is he alone? Does he have any family with him?

MR. CROWLEY: I do not know.

QUESTION: Is there any swap with Iran?

MR. CROWLEY: I mean, Mr. Amiri is free to come and go as he chooses, and he is choosing to return to Iran. I mean, we are obviously – continue to be mindful of the fact we have the three hikers in custody, without charge in Iran. Obviously, they are there against their own free will. We also have – continue to have concern about others, including Robert Levinson. We have asked Iran many, many times for information about his whereabouts and we still do not have that information.

QUESTION: Why is he leaving?

QUESTION: Is it --

QUESTION: P.J., you in mentioning –

MR. CROWLEY: I’ve got to go in about 30 seconds.

QUESTION: In mentioning the hikers, you are suggesting or raising questions in people’s minds about whether you’re hinting at some kind of a swap.

MR. CROWLEY: I’m not –

QUESTION: Do you want them swapped?

MR. CROWLEY: I’m not hinting. We have called for the hikers to be released on humanitarian grounds and that continues to be our position. I wouldn’t specifically link the two. We –

QUESTION: Then why did you?

MR. CROWLEY: No, I didn’t. I was asked about – I was responding to a question.

MR. TONER: Yes.

MR. CROWLEY: So Mr. Amiri has been here as –

QUESTION: As a guest of the United States Government?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, he’s been here under his own free will and he has chosen to leave.

QUESTION: P.J., does this --

QUESTION: Well, how did he get – no, no, no –

QUESTION: Is this an embarrassment, sir --

QUESTION: He’s not going to answer the question.

QUESTION: That’s fine, but how did – did you give him –

MR. CROWLEY: Elise. Elise, I’ve –

QUESTION: You obviously gave him a visa.

MR. CROWLEY: Elise, I’ve got to go. I know you’ll have more questions for us.

QUESTION: Can you tell me about the allegations about torture and all that? I mean, he seems – him and the –

QUESTION: Do you deny those allegations?

QUESTION: Yeah.

QUESTION: Pakistani –

QUESTION: And detention?

MR. CROWLEY: All right, I can –

QUESTION: Is this episode –

MR. CROWLEY: He has been here as someone who made a free choice and he is choosing to leave. I have no information to suggest that he has been mistreated while he’s been in the United States.

QUESTION: Did he –

QUESTION: Is this an embarrassment to the U.S.?

QUESTION: Did he tell you – geez.

MR. CROWLEY: All right, I’ve got to go. I’ve got to go.

QUESTION: Did he let –

MR. TONER: Thank you.

QUESTION: -- you know that he wanted to go?

QUESTION: But you just left.

QUESTION: Or is this a surprise?

QUESTION: This is all on the record, I –

MR. TONER: Yes.

MR. CROWLEY: Yes.

QUESTION: Yes.

MR. CROWLEY: I think he has informed us that he wishes to go home.

MR. TONER: Thanks, guys.

MR. CROWLEY: Thanks.

QUESTION: Thank you.



PRN: 2010/931

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