The Iranian Nuclear Enigma – Why the US Didn’t Understand Iran Then, And Why They Still Don’t

When my father first moved to the city I grew up in back in the late 80’s, he went looking for a new car. What shocked him was not that all the dealerships were Iranian owned but every dealer he called for a quote on their car, they always gave the excuse “It belonged to a family member who came here, bought the car, barely used it, and moved back to Iran because they didn’t like America”. After 10 different people gave him that same exact excuse, my father yelled at the 11th dealer, screaming “Can’t you BS me with a different lie!” What shocked him even more was that the dealer remained adamant, defending himself and refusing to back down. My father finally gave up and bought the car from one of the dealers, not really knowing what he was getting himself into.

While it is easy to attack me for mentioning that a sizable amount of Iranians are car dealers, you’re obviously missing the point. The point is that in our culture, the key is not to work hard, but to work smart. While that is fine in any modern society that wants to be successful, the fact that Iranians have an extreme “ends justify the means” ethic combined with the fact that Iranians are far more intelligent than most groups in this country, shows that the face we put on is only hiding our true intentions. Its not just the Car dealers, but many other segments of society that Iranians play a part in. Iranians didn’t have to toil the American soil for years or sweat in factories like the other immigrant groups who came to this country. It was not becauuse the face we put on was any better, but because they couldn’t tell when we were BSing. Thats why other groups like Hindis and Israelis loathe Iranians, because we rarely get called out like they do.

As I have been reading the reports since this “Nuclear Framework” came out between the Obama and Rohani admins, I can only laugh at how naive many of these “commentators” are about the intentions of the Islamic Republic. But what frightens me is how passionate Obama is about believing in this agreement. There is either one of two reasons for this; A.) He is desperate for a foreign policy victory after the failures of Ukraine and Syria, or B.) He truly believes that the Iranian Government wants to change and wants to help them with making the world a better place. If the answer is A. we can end the conversation here. He is just another politician making a living for himself and there is nothing I can do about that. But if the answer is B, then I can say this loud and clear; Obama doesn’t know anything about Iran. Not just the Islamic Republic, he does not understand Iran at all.

Many of the people we have interviewed during our research into the Pahlavi dynasty and the early-mid years of the Islamic Republic are not afraid of Iran because they have more advanced weapons or they have a large legion of Suicide bombers. As one American Intelligence officer told me, “we are afraid of Iran because we can’t understand the country at all”. Richard Helms, the longtime ambassador to Iran wrote that Iranians made no sense to him, and he could never truly understand what was going on in their heads. Robert Baer, a CIA case officer who worked for many years in the Iran Office, wrote that Iran was the most Secretive Government in the world; the US knows more about the North Koreans than they do about the IRI. And unlike the Russians and Chinese immigrants in the US, few Iranians Expatriates have been willing to cooperate with the American Intelligence services (At least for reasons not pertaining to monetary interests), making the mystery of Iran even more convoluting to the US government.

The fact that Obama, who represents a government that has openly stated their frustrations with understanding the Iranian Government can come out in good faith with the IRI is so confusing to me, that I can’t hold my tongue back any longer. He does not understand what the hell he is getting himself into.

Lets start by looking at the Nuclear Weapons Program……

The Nuclear Weapons program can only be understood by looking back 35 years ago, in the final years of the Shah dynasty. The Shah, looking to preserve Iran from any foreign invasion, envisioned a full-scale nuclear weapons program that would encompass every branch of the Imperial Military. An ICBM force for the ground forces, Submarine based ballistic missiles for the Navy, and an obscure Air Force Program whose details remain unclear to me and Kayvan. But what differentiated the Iranians from the other nuclear countries was not how they were scaling the program or the designs of the weapons. They were different because of how they covered up the program. Most countries either go openly in either the civilian or secretly in the military route for WMD’s but the Imperial Military on the other hand, revolutionized the procurement of nuclear weapons forever.

The Shah signed the NPT in 1968 and was therefore able to acquire Civilian nuclear technology from the west; and this was done with an agreement with the US, Germany and France for 20 nuclear reactors, along with the associated costs, i.e. Training, Fuel, Maintenance and etc. This part of the plan was to give the cover to the rest of the world that the Nuclear Program was transparent and that the Major players of the Nuclear Club were giving a clean bill of health to the Iranian Nuclear Program. The Iranians also got a chair at the IAEA Council representing the Middle East to even further portary themselves as an active player for Nuclear Non-proliferation. The second part of the plan was the more complex part, they started to contract from countries that had established nuclear programs for their expertise and technology to help them with a clandestine program for weaponization that was completely seperate from the Civilian program and under the control of the Military Industries Organization (Sazeman Sanei Artesh) which was under the control of General Hassan Toufanian. The countries that assisted were Israel, Pakistan, and Apartheid South Africa*. Israel would provide the technology for the Delivery systems and the weaponization of the fuel while Pakistan would provide the enrichment technology and South Africa would provide additional technology and Uranium to be processed. And even then, this was not the end.

All these technology transfers were not just to build a nuclear weapon, but to master the entire nuclear system, to take the applications the Israelis had provided and move them beyond ICBMs. This included a Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile, tactical nuclear weapons as well as an Obscure Air Force Program whose details remain unclear.

So now, the strategy should be clear; Make a Open and transparent Civilian program with legit countries to cover up and distract attention from your Weapons Program with the Shady ones.The fact of the matter was that this Strategy was far more successful than anyone could have ever imagined. Everybody, with the exception of Israelis, South African, and Pakistani Governments were totally unaware of the Programme. As one Imperial Navy officer told me:

“We thought we were geniuses as to how we were able to get away with what we did. The Americans were totally in the dark about what our program then. In the mid 80’s a CIA case officer called me either Extremely Nervous or Drunk after the Americans had learned about some Processing equipment the Pakistanis and South Africans had provided to the Shah and was begging me for details about this transfer. They didn’t know anything about what we had done and I hear that they are still calling families of the Imperial Military, trying to get them to shed light on what the hell was going on back then.”

He later told us; “What the IRI is doing now is exactly what we did back then, except more idiotic. Back then, we had about 20 reactors planned and the fuel to be provided by the IAEA, US, Dutch or whatever and we were going to use centrifuges to enrich our own uranium in secret. Had the US known about this, they would have immediately known that we were going to build weapons. But now they have only one reactor and its fuel is being provided by Russia and maybe China, yet they are producing 10 times more uranium than we had planned back then. So the question that anybody with a brain needs to ask is, unless the IRI is interested in French-Quality Cancer Research, which I doubt considering the State of Iranian hospitals, why the fuck do they need that Enriched Uranium?” 

Whatever the case though, after the revolution Toufanian succeeded in destroying the Israeli components and the delivery systems but the Pakistani Enrichment systems remained largely intact and in 1987, the IRI even paid the Pakistani Government to deliver the remaining components, as well as in the mid-late 90s Abdel Qadeer Khan, the father of the Pakistani Weapons Program was contracted by the IRI to provide expertise on the system. However, they realized that the only way to get the nuclear weapons they desired was to try to build it on top of the one that was abandoned in 1979.

The Pakistanis assisted with the program but they refused to assist with weaponization, despite an offer of 4 Billion Dollars. Pakistani Chief of Staff Mirza Aslam Beg reported that in 1990, when an Iranian Deligation visited: “They asked: ‘Can we have a bomb?’ My answer was: By all means you can have it but you must make it yourself. Nobody gave it to us.” The current facilities, which use Centrifuge enrichment, are all based from the Pakistani programme.

With support from Israel obviously out of the question, they started instead to find people who were involved in the Designs of the Delivery Systems (Aka Project Flower). The IRI Military tried to get General Toufanian and Admiral Kamal Habibollahi (Two of the three fathers of the Imperial Military Nuclear Weapons program), who by the mid-90s were both living in DC to cooperate but they both refused. Nevertheless though, several exiles in Europe and the US returned as well as others in Iran who were aware of the programme were recruited to come back and tried to piece together everything they could in secret. That, coupled with hundreds of Laid off Military Engineers from the Former Soviet Union, managed to complete a New Missile, the Sejil, which caught many countries by surprise, since it did not resemble any of the North Korean, Russian, or Pakistani based Arsenals they possessed. One of our sources confirmed to me and Kayvan that the Sejil was identical to the Missile that the Israelis were creating with Iran in the late 70’s.

Lets take a second to understand why the Iranians want this more than anything and the answer is actually the opposite of what most people expect, they are not trying to destroy the world, they are trying to save themselves. As we all know, Iran has a horrendously corrupt and brutal government that supports terrorism around the world. The two things that can take out the Iranian Government are an American Invasion and a Revolution by their own people. The Iranian Government knows that with nuclear weapons, the US will never invade because they don’t want to start World War III, but more importantly, should the Iranian People rise up, the US will abandon them to their fates so they can assure the security of the weapons. The Same strategy worked with Pakistan, the most lousy, corrupt and terror supporting country in the world, but the US doesnt try to break up their government because the risks of the weapons falling in the wrong hands are too great.

However, if the threat of the Americans or the People gets too great, they have been seen to concede just to get by. For example, after the 2003 Invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, the IRI, fearing that they were next, stopped all the weapons reserach so they can save themselves. However, when the US got bogged down and they saw they were no longer in danger, they ramped up their enrichment activities and also supported the militias in Iraq (one estimate was that 1/3 of all US military casualties were from Iranian-made weapons; yeah, Iran can be a great ally huh?) Now however, the current agreement was based on the fact that the threat was now from their own people. The Iranian Government was on the verge of bankruptcy from the Sanctions and the Massive Expenditures on Syria, so the agreement was not based on Non-proliferation, it was about getting emergency cash that the regime needed for their own survival.

Now lets go back to the double faced nature of Iran……

The point of me explaining the Nuclear Strategy was to explain how the Iranian system works and thats by duping people into these fantasies. But what seperates Iranians from other cultures is how hard they are willing to work to make up that facade. The fact that the Pahlavi Dynasty and the IRI is spending god knows billions on a civilian program to cover up any secret activities of something even much larger is something I have yet to see from any other cultures. They have taken the concept of the Potemkin village and made it into Potemkin World. And now, the current agreement, which may dismantle a large portion of the programme, cannot be viewed by any Iranians who are aware about the double faced ethos of our culture to be the final result of anything. This is a tactical move to get the sanctions removed and probably get access to cash and more military hardware, particularly Russia and China, which had cancelled many contracts with the IRI back in the late 2000’s.

This agreement will only do one thing, prolong the lifetime of this regime and the mullahs know that. But in the end of the 10-15 years which the Agreement covers, if not earlier, the IRI knows that they have mastered the technology and can revitalize the program should need be. The 25 years that have gone by was to perfect the technology and the know-how of the enrichment cycle. Once they have gotten back on their feet economically and have amassed their superpower status in the Middle East with Economic and Military controls, they can resume the program not only in secret but probably with more hesitancy from the members of the Security council since they know that the IRI is in a more powerful position.

Whatever the case may be, Obama’s failure to understand the Intentions of the IRI, much like the rest of the US government is leading to what can be viewed as a deal that is built out of desperation to win a foreign policy battle after watching his “don’t do stupid stuff” policy making situations go from bad to worse all over the world. If Obama does not care about Children getting raped and gassed in Syria, I could not see him caring much more about people suffering under the current sanctions in Iran(and strengthening the government that is supporting the Slaughter in Syria). He might have some thoughts that he is dealing with a good intentioned government but time and time again, the US government’s failure to understand Iran as a whole leads me to believe that he cannot see what the Iranian Nuclear strategy is or really understand what their long-term strategy is.
*:This Last one was the most interesting to me because we found a graph from 1978 that revealed the country that got the most amount of Iranian Oil exports was not the United States or even Israel (which came in second). The country was South Africa. That’s how important South Africa was to the programme.

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