The Russian/Iran Nuclear lie

by Emanuel A. Winston, Mid East Analyst

It has been reported that the Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to withhold nuclear fuel from the Bushehr nuclear plant he was building in Iran. The flimsy excuse is that the Iranians are behind in their payments. It has also been reported that Putin has started to withdraw Russian nuclear technicians from Iran supposedly slowing the completion of the nuclear plant.

Why do I feel that there is another truth somewhere in the lies? Consider the fact that most of the construction and technology has already been completed and Putin doesn’t want to be blamed for what Iran is about to do. One is reminded of the French nuclear plant in Osirak, Iraq which was just awaiting the nuclear fuel rods to go live. The Israelis bombed the Osirak plant in 1981 before the nuclear fuel was installed in order to avoid radiation spread among the civilian population.

In the world of nuclear science there are hundreds, even thousands of nuclear engineers from Europe ready to be paid for their services at handsome salaries. Some from North Korea, China, France, the Netherlands have already been working in Iran. The withdrawal of Russian technologists may look good but I suspect it is a ploy, merely, so Russia will be held blameless when not if Iran brings the Bushehr plant on line and would be one of the main targets for strikes by the U.S. and Israel.

There is also the matter of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s credible threat to send a nuclear missile or two against Israel. Here you can separate the completion of the Bushehr plant and the ability of Iran to construct a nuclear warhead for its missiles. Here again I see Putin distancing himself from what could be a nuclear catastrophe in Israel.

There is another problem Putin wishes to avoid, namely KEGS (Suitcase Nukes) which went missing from their Soviet inventory. Some will recall General Alexander Lebed’s statement on TV that approximately 100 KEGS were unaccounted for and presumably sold by Soviet Generals to the Russian Mafia who re-sold them to Iran and other Terrorist groups. If any of those smaller nukes just happened to explode in American cities, courtesy of Iran or Osama Bin Laden’s al Qaeda, Russia would have its fingerprints all over it as the source.

Be assured that Putin, no friend of America, would NOT weep over the carnage. He would be concerned that the U.S. would respond with ICBMs, in addition to making Iran glow for a few hundred years.

While the Arabist State Department is crowing over Putin’s seemingly dragging his feet in the completion of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant, they also know all and more of what has been explained earlier. He, Putin, may also know or been informed of U.S. plans to take out Iran€ ’²s nuclear productions facilities by the U.S.

Perhaps to ingratiate himself with the Iranians and Syrians, he sold them Russia’s most advanced ground-to-air missile defenses and the radar to back it up. Clearly, Putin has returned to his Cold War KGB ways, if he ever really left.

Putin may have thought he was getting even for the collapse of the Soviet Union through Perestroika but, much of his tinkering is turning into what the Intelligence community calls “Blow-Back” or the force of unintended consequences. Russia also may be a target for Iranian nukes especially if transferred to the Chechen front.

So, don’t be too quick to applaud Putin’s trivial withdrawal from completing Bushehr. It will be completed in 2 months. Presently, Russian spokesmen are denying the reports of Putin withdrawing Russian technicians and scientists as well as withholding critical nuclear fuel.

Where are the competent investigative reporters when you need them the most?

March 25, 2007 | 8 Comments »

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8 Comments / 8 Comments

  1. It is sneakier than Russia just sending a message to Iran that they must keep up payments – the consequences are that the many arms deals and projects underway, such as the nuclear facilities will not be impacted by this resolution. Any contract can be backdated as the cunning Russians and Iranians know all too well.

  2. Iran Resumes Payments to Russia for Nuclear Power Plant

    MOSCOW — The Russian state-run company building Iran’s first atomic power plant said Monday that Tehran has made its first payment toward the long-delayed construction of Bushehr plant since a dispute over financing halted construction.

    “The fact that our Iranian partners have overcome their difficulties is positive,” Atomstroiexport said in a statement, adding however that the payment was “still far” from full compensation for the Bushehr project.

    Moscow and Tehran have been at loggerheads over financing of the plant and Russia earlier this month said that nuclear fuel would not be supplied this month, as had been planned. The delays prompted Russia, which is building the plant in Iran, to indefinitely postpone the reactor’s launch, set for September.

    Iran, meanwhile, angrily denied falling behind with payments and accused Russia of caving in to U.S. pressure to take a tougher line on Tehran.

    The funding dispute came as members of the U.N. Security Council, including Russia, on Saturday unanimously voted to impose new sanctions on Iran, including the banning of Iranian arms exports and the freezing of assets of 28 people and organizations involved in Iran’s nuclear and missile programs….


    Iran started paying up. The Russians may have been sending them a message through the UN. It will be interesting to follow their relationship from this point.

  3. Yes, and notice how the resolution stressed (as did the Russian, Chinese and French reps in the Security Council) that agreements entered into prior to this weak UN resolution would be honored and not subject to the restrictions of the agreement. In other words, Iran must keep making payments for work in progress on the nuclear facilities and arms deals. If the Americans and Brits and/or Israelis bomb Iranian nuclear facilities that will mean even more contracts from Iran to rebuild in the future. The KBG chief wins either way.

    That is why the message to tyrants (this time with the 12 captured Brits and previously with Israelis captured by Hezbollah and Hamas) should always be:

    Let my people Go

    Or we will –

    Let your people Glow

  4. Upon hearing that Russia was pulling its technicians out of Iran due to an overdue receivable, my first thought was “bullshit — they are clearing the deck in anticipation of the coming US-Israeli attack”.

    Putin had to have been informed — no, warned — that if Russia did not go along with sanctions, there would inevitably be a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. After milking the Iranians for billions in construction and weapons contracts, the Ruskis finally acceded to watered-down measures but it was a foregone conclusion that these would only be sufficient to irritate the mullahs, not coerce them out of their quest for a nuke. Like itching powder, the sanctions are having their desired effect — Iran has provoked an international incident with the capture of the British sailors and the West will now up the ante.

    Putin on the other hand, gets to walk away with his billions and leaves it to America to pick up the pieces. All in a day’s work for the former KGB agent.

  5. I think that Ted is onto something important. The Iranians might intend to escalate this conflict after being abandoned in the UN by their traditional supporters and suppliers (Russia and France). Now they might see no downside in refusing to give up the British soldiers abducted from the murky waters of Shatt al-Arab. Will the Iranians take it one additional step further by putting them in a show trial? Should this happen, Britain and the US might threaten the Iranians with a military strike. The result of this is anyone’s guess but one can be sure that Iran’s nuclear assets will be on the target list.

  6. The U.S. still has more firepower then the Muslim Middle East and enough that Russia wants no direct confrontation with Americans, preferring to work behind the scenes to erode American might and increase Russia’s strength. As for the EU, so afraid of their own shadow, lest it be perceived to darken any Muslim doorstep, they cower in fear and step back from anything that will anger Muslims more than they already are.

    Given that, just what keeps America from exercising their right to defend themselves in a way most advantageous to the U.S., including sparing American lives by a pre-emptive strike against Iran, the foremost big mouth enemy of the U.S. as well as one of the biggest anti-American terror stupporters in the world.

  7. To paraphrase Rumsfeld,

    ‘There are things you know, then there are things you don’t know, and then there are things that you don’t know that you don’t know.’

    Not knowing is bad enough, but not to know that you don’t know is even more perilous.

    What the truth is in this case I don’t know, but to recount world history and take note of what has taken place up to this time has me concerned – Even more so taking into account the power of modernized weaponry.

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