Iran’s Arab Separatists Go for Tehran’s Nuclear Jugular

Not satisfied with their six-month guerrilla uprising, the Arab activists of Iran’s oil-rich Khuzestan have launched a diplomatic campaign against Tehran. Quietly cheered on from Washington and London, they will lodge complaints with the UN nuclear watchdog and Security Council against “the Iranian government’s illegal steps to develop nuclear arms on land it does not own, namely Khuzestan, against the will of its Arab inhabitants who demand independence.”

They accuse Iran of deliberately planting its nuclear reactor at Busheir which, claim the Khuzestanis, is an integral part of their province. This distances the reactor from central Iran and exposes the Arab population to dangers, ranging from a Chernobyl-type mishap to a US or Israel air strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s Gulf sources reveal that the separatist organizations have united under a common leader, Nasser Hazaoul, scion of a respected aristocratic family in Arab Khuzestan. They timed the campaign for late September to give themselves five-six weeks to prepare their case for presentation to the UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA’s November board meeting.

Hazaoul and his fellow underground leaders have been promised that some of the Arab and Muslim nations represented on the board will put their claims before the next meeting for discussion. The Americans and British are considering seconding them.

In a related development, the Khuzestan separatists will very soon launch a satellite TV station broadcasting from Abu Dhabi. It was set up and financed by “private sources” in the Gulf with encouragement from ruling circles in the emirates.

Programming will cover Arab insurgent operations and protests on a daily basis. But its main theme will be Iran’s nuclear program and all the dirt the Arab dissidents can dig up.

Major revelations are promised.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s Iranian sources reveal that the station’s Nuclear Desk has put together an expose of discreditable aspects of the nuclear relations between Tehran and Moscow.

It claims Tehran is planning to build at least two morel nuclear reactors in Khuzestan and discloses some of the contortions around the plan.

Russia is said to have lost $100-150 million on the Bushair reactor it contracted to build – firstly, by failing to meet timetables for the supply of Russian-made components; secondly, because the Iranians consistently miss their timetable of payments to Moscow.

In lengthy negotiations to fend off pressure from Moscow, Tehran is described as offering compensation in the form of contracts for two more atomic reactors in Khuzestan.

But the Iranians are said to have cheated Moscow. They have since decided to open the field to international suppliers. Research data due for broadcast over Khuzestan TV reveals that Tehran has decided to buy its next reactors from France rather than Russia.

They have a double motive. A contract would give France an incentive to back away from endorsing Washington’s bid to put Iran’s nuclear violations before the UN Security Council.

Furthermore, Iran’s nuclear experts judge French technology for atomic power reactors to be the most advanced in the world, superior to Russia’s and even to the United States.

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