CIA officials declined to publicly comment on any aspect of the case but a senior US intelligence official said "it's ridiculous to think the United States would have to compel anyone to defect and then force them to stay in this country."
Intelligence officials asked if the scientist was being held against his will, how did he have access to the internet to call Iran?
It is not uncommon for defectors to go through "psychological issues," according to an intelligence official familiar with the case.
The Iranian government says the initial video of Amiri is evidence that the United States is holding the scientist against his will.
After his disappearance, the Iranian foreign minister, Manoucher Mottaki, and Amiri's family blamed the US for kidnapping the scientist. His family had protested outside the Saudi embassy in Tehran, claiming the Saudis had played a role in Amiri's "abduction."