Moscow’s “April surprise” for Western sanctions: Russia to back Iran in nuclear talks

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Editor’s Note…

This Russian retaliation for the western Putsch in Ukraine means they’re trying to sabotage the Petro-Dollar aspect of Obama’s dirty deal with the Tehran regime. One of the main reasons for the deal was to goad the regime into abandoning its gold-for-oil program in favor of returning back to the Petro-Dollar scheme,thus enabling the US so ease the sanctions regime thereby prolonging the Ayatollah’s reign in the hope to use it against Russia. The Russian counter measure is to subvert that agreement in the aforementioned manner in order to force the west to decide whether to bomb Iran (thereby removing a potential threat to Russia as well)  or surrender altogether and allow Russia to become Iran’s main patron. Apparently the Russians believe the west is too weak right now to attack anyone, so they are willing to take that risk.

On top of that, Debka File has published in its weekly journal that the British MI6 was behind the Kiev putsch right from the start (see the additional text below the main article), thus the whole thing is yet another “great game” between Russia and the Anglo-American establishment. 

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Debka File

As the Six Power group and Iran prepared for their third round of nuclear talks in Vienna next week (Tuesday-Wednesday, April 8-9) Tehran frankly admitted to exploiting the holes in the six-month interim deal they forged in Geneva last November. And Moscow looks like making good on its threat to back the Iranian case, in retaliation for Western penalties for its annexation of Crimea.

In a closed meeting in Tehran Wednesday, April 3, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Nuclear Energy Commission said: “We have 19,000 centrifuges of which 9,000 are in operation [for enriching uranium]. Our advice is not to discuss the number of centrifuges, rather to discuss the unit’s isolation power.” He explained there are different types of centrifuge.

This was a candid admission that Iran had found a way to get around its commitment under the interim deal – which US Secretary of State John Kerry held up as his greatest diplomatic achievement – not to build or activate its most advanced centrifuges for speeding up enrichment.

Salehi had no qualms about pointing to the holes in that deal, as the six foreign ministers prepared to face Iran in Vienna for the next round of negotiations on a comprehensive agreement for Iran’s nuclear program.

That forum will provide Moscow with its first opportunity to confront the West over Iran (and likely Syria too) for the sanctions and bans NATO meted out over Russia’s Ukraine policy.

The architect of Russian policy on both issues, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, gave due warning last week, when he said: “Russia wouldn’t like to use their [nuclear] talks as an element of the game of raising the stakes between Moscow and the West,” he said. “But if Russia feels forced, it would take retaliatory measures here as well.”

On the day the Iranian nuclear czar talked about Iran’s centrifuge capacity, sources in Moscow and Tehran reported that the two governments, both targets of Western sanctions, were close to a mammoth barter transaction: For 500,000 barrels of Iranian oil per day, Russia will supply goods of equivalent value including foodstuffs.

This transaction when it goes into effect will more or less scuttle the sanctions regime against Iran, including the oil embargo.
Salehi was accordingly not afraid to boast: “Enrichment activities have not ceased.”
The interim accord did not ban low-grade uranium enrichment, and that was another hole in the deal, because it allowed Iran to press forward and stockpile large quantities of the low grade material despite the fact that it can be refined to weapons grade in short order.

As for the heavy water-plutonium reactor under construction in Arak, Salehi commented: “Under normal circumstances, we would have needed at least two to three years to advance this project.” He went on to reveal: “Under the Geneva accord we undertook not to install certain major equipment for six months. So instead we worked on equipment quality.”

Referring to US President Barack Obama’s public statement last November that Iran had agreed to halt the Arak reactor project, Saleh pointed out: “The Arak reactor was never in operation for it to cease.”

However, Iran did not let the grass grow. Now that the six months of the interim accord is up, the improved equipment can be installed without further delay.

He also noted that a cessation of heavy water reactor operations was not covered in the Geneva Accord. “[The West] manipulated public opinion to persuade people that those operations must be stopped.”

This confirmed Israel’s complaint to Washington that the interim deal of last November and subsequent discussions between the big powers and Iran omitted to address the Arak project and its capacity for producing plutonium, as an alternative weapons fuel to enriched uranium.

The Iranian official made no secret of his government’s intentions. “Currently, we are not after establishing reprocessing facilities [for high grade enriched uranium and/or plutonium]. Of course, this does not mean that we renounce this right for ever.”

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Editor’s Note…

The following is excerpted from the Debka-weekly edition of February 28, 2014,regarding the British role behind the scene of the Maidan putsch and its ramifications…

The Obama administration mostly stayed aloof from the British-led European moves on Ukraine, unwilling to risk what it regards as headway on the Iranian and Syrian issues by stepping into a conflict touching on Russia’s very borders and affecting its strategic interests.

But then, Thursday afternoon, Russia raised the military stakes by sending fighter jets to patrol the border with Ukraine, shortly after armed men seized control of government buildings and the parliament in the Crimean capital of Simferopol and flew the Russian flag over them.

Local witnesses assured our sources that the armed men were actually Russian paratroopers and carried heavy anti-tank weaponry.At that point, the Obama administration sent John Kerry to pick up the phone to Sergey Lavrov to negotiate an end to the crisis, before the Russian military buildup gets out of hand. Moscow’s price for collaboration has yet to be negotiated before the upheavals besetting Ukraine subside. It may entail swallowing the return of Yanukovych to Kiev.

Kiev Swerved off the EU Script

European Wire-Pullers Misjudged Ukraine Unrest – Pushed It too Far 

The Europeans, spearheaded by the British MI6, worked very hard to engineer the coup which deposed the pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in Kiev Saturday, Feb. 22. Three months in the making, the takeover was stalled in less than 48 hours by the country’s empty coffers. With all its sympathy, the European Union was in no hurry to follow up on British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s rash statement that Britain had its checkbook ready to help the new Ukraine.

Fine, said the interim government in Kiev, we need $21 billion (!) to stabilize the economy.Tuesday, Feb. 25, British Foreign Secretary William Hague decided the smart thing to do was to fly urgently to Washington to discuss with Secretary of State John Kerry what to do next.

Before they met, Hague commented that the US via the International Money Fund, as well as Britain and the European Union, would have to stump up the funds for putting the new Ukraine on its feet.

But after talking to Kerry, he sang a different tune:
“Ukraine needs to meet conditions for an IMF lending program,” said Hague as he left the State Department. “It is important for economic reform to take place and for a pervasive culture of corruption over many years to be tackled effectively for international community to be able to see that there will be continuity and determination to tackle these issues, and therefore long-term international support can be given on a reasonable basis.”He went on to say that he would need to consult with Moscow on the matter.

British push protesters to radical steps

By then it was clear to Ukraine’s acting president Oleksander Turchino that the funds for governing Ukraine even provisionally – which may have been promised – were way out of reach. Neither the US, the IMF or the EU would be writing any checks until the conditions Hague outlined were met – a tall order, DEBKA Weekly’s intelligence sources report.
Thursday, Kerry made the gesture of offering a US guarantee for $1 billion worth of credit. Even that drop in the ocean of Kiev’s needs will be hard to come by.

According to sources in Kiev, the upshot of the Kiev protest departed from the original script prepared by Western European secret services, including France and Germany – with the British MI6 in the forefront of the action.

They had intended the Kiev uprising to produce a national unity government representing the various opposition factions and driving hard toward affiliation with the European Union. It was meant to bend Yanukovych to the opposition’s will – not oust him.

Fellow Europeans accused British agents of pushing the protest leaders into more radical steps than intended. Some of the pro-Western hotheads, mostly from Lviv, became confused over their final goals.

Foreign Secretary Hague, as the minister in charge of the MI6 Secret Service, was kept abreast of events in Kiev. As an incidental gain, he saw an opportunity for Prime Minister David Cameron to repair some of the damage wrought by his government’s inadequate handling of the flood disasters in some of Britain’s most prosperous areas. He urged Cameron to use the turmoil in Kiev to restore some of his lost prestige.

Why the British-led European plan went off the script

But the premier decided to play it safe and leave it to Hague to handle the political mess developing in Kiev. In Washington it was realized that if the British hadn’t cheered the Kiev protesters on too far, hailing them as freedom fighters ready to lay down their lives on the barricades, Yanukovych might still be in power instead of on the run, and a national unity government in place to restore order in Kiev.

A German intelligence agent talking to DEBKA Weekly pointed to two British miscalculations:
1. They underestimated the fragility of Yanukovych’s government. It was so fundamentally rotten, that no more than a gentle nudge was needed to blow it away and put the president to flight.

2. They also misjudged Russian President Vladimir Putin’s likely response to the challenge to Moscow. London counted on the three months of protest at the heart of Kiev blowing up into a major crisis between the Russian ruler and President Barack Obama and the eventual use of Russian military force – if not in Kiev, then in the Russian-speaking southeast and the Crimean Peninsula, home to Russian naval bases. London would then be on hand to broker a resolution of the crisis.

But Putin coolly appraised the situation in Kiev, said the German source, before taking action. Like the Obama administration, he had no intention of forking out a single dollar to haul Ukraine out of its economic morass. Well acquainted with the players in Kiev, he appreciated that any financial assistance reaching the country would flow straight into the pockets of local politicians and oligarchs who are the real powerhouses in the Ukraine capital.

The EU, through its British foreign policy coordinator Catherine Ashton, who visited Kiev this week, tried, say DEBKA Weekly’s sources, to take charge of stabilizing the situation in Kiev and providing liaison between Washington and Moscow.In fact Obama and Putin interacted directly to safeguard a relationship which has a higher priority for the US President than Ukraine. The hot potato of stabilizing Kiev was left to the Europeans to handle.