Bushehr builder Kiriyenko is live wire in Obama-Khamenei backdoor dialogue. Putin gives impetus
Sergei Kiriyenko, director of the Russian Atomic Agency Rosatom and the builder of Iran’s first nuclear reactor at Bushehr, is one of the live wires behind the secret deal on Iran’s nuclear program worked out between the White House in Washington, the Kremlin in Moscow and the Tehran office of Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. This is revealed by debkafile’s sources in Washington, Moscow and Tehran.
Kiryenko, one of Putin’s most trusted adviser on nuclear affairs, divided his time in July and August between Tehran, Moscow and the southern Iranian town of Bushehr. There, he set up a team of Farsi-speaking Russian nuclear scientists for start-ups of joint Russian-Iranian nuclear projects.
Those scientists are most likely the only foreigners personally familiar with all the key players of Iran’s nuclear program, including those known to Russian intelligence to be engaged in weapons work.
According to our sources, President Putin drafted this team into the project for drawing up, under Kiriyenko’s guidance, the text of a nuclear accord for Tehran and Washington to sign.
This text was to be modeled on the US-Russian accord for the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons that Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov concluded in Geneva on Sept. 14.
Then, too, a Russian team was employed through the month of August to collate all the US, Russian and Syrian position papers on the subject, translate them into diplomatic language and compile accords, most of whose sections remain classified up to the present, except for those applying to implementation in the field.
That team was headed by Russian deputy foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov, holder of the Syrian portfolio in the Russian foreign ministry, in Putin’s Kremlin bureau and in Russian intelligence.
A tight veil of secrecy has been drawn by Washington, Moscow, Damascus and Tehran over the two Russian teams for Syria and Iran and their mode of operation.
However, debkafile’s sources can reveal how the mechanism has worked for producing a document of understanding between Washington and Tehran:
The general framework of the document was drafted by Presidents Barack Obama and Putin and passed to Kiriyenko and his team. They broke it down into segments or topics and analyzed them one by one against the current state of Iran’s nuclear program. The paper was then put before the Iranian experts and developed, section by section, into an agreed Russian-Iranian text.
Sergei Kiriyenko then went into action on the two tasks assigned him by Putin:
1. To bring the Russian-Iranian draft in line with the US-Russian accord.
2. If the Iranian experts balked at the draft, Kiriyenko was to turn to higher authority in Tehran – President Hassan Rouhani or Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran-AEOI to clear up points of disagreement.
If they too withheld approval of the draft, Kiriyenko put their objections before President Putin. He was to get together with Obama and return to the drawing board to compile a revised accord..
A senior Israeli defense official on a visit to Washington was asked last week what answer Ayatollah Khamenei would receive if he asked Salehi: “Can we develop a nuclear weapon whenever we want?” The answer would be “Yes,” said the Israeli official.
After the two presidents saw eye to eye, the text was referred to Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Lavrov, to be couched in formal language as accords. Buts of those documents will be put on the negotiating table as agreed proposals when the Six Powers and Iran meet in Geneva on Oct. 15.