How the Soviets Gave the Mullahs the Bomb
Jamie Glazov, FrontPageMagazine.com:
Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Regnar Rasmussen, a former military interpreter and interrogation specialist trained at the Danish Armed Forces' Specialist School. For more than ten years, he worked as a translator in the Danish Central Police Department (immigration department) as well as in several criminal investigations departments. He affirms that, through his experience, he learned of the many ways in which the Soviet system trained the Islamist enemy we now face in the terror war. More frightening yet, he claims that his sources informed him back in 1992 that the Soviets sold the Iranian Mullahs nuclear warheads in autumn 1991. READ MORE
FP: Regnar Rasmussen, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
Rasmussen: Thank you very much for inviting me on.
FP: First things first, tell us a bit about your background and how you became privy to the information you possess today about our Jihadi enemy and Iran's possession of nuclear weapons.
Rasmussen: Basically I am a linguist and happen to be able to speak a number of useful languages such as Russian, Persian, Urdu/Hindi, Bengali - and of course Danish, German and English. I spent large chunks of my life in India, and with Calcutta as my base I travelled extensively all over South and South East Asia. This experience was one of the reasons why I was frequently called upon as a translator in various cases related to immigration or to crimes committed by immigrants or against immigrants. Throughout ten years in this capacity I was on a virtual 24-hour stand-by duty and often spent the entire day and the entire night as well interrogating huge numbers of foreigners.
Even though I had learned quite a lot about the inner workings of the Soviet system on a theoretical level both at university and at the Armed Forces' Specialist School, it was not until 1984 that I realized that my imaginations had been faint and vague compared with the reality I was now faced with. Asylum seekers from Iran now started to flood all western countries. The reason was that those innumerable communist parties and groupings which had believed in Khomeini as a "true representative of the people" now suddenly had become the targets of Muslim persecution as "infidels" because of their communist beliefs.
A very large section of the younger generation had been involved in communist movements due to their resentment of the Shah. Khomeini saw these naive youngsters as "useful idiots" (expression coined by Lenin) and allowed them to participate in the killing and destruction of any and all persons who might or might not have had cooperation with or sympathy for the Shah or the ideas of the Shah. This was to be understood in the broadest sense so that even any kind of "decadent entertainment" was included in the endless list of offenses punishable by death.
Now this entire section of "helpers of the revolution" was to be eliminated once and for all. Many of them landed "on my doorstep" and I was able to hear their life stories directly from themselves. Out of these a substantial number told me about their education in various Soviet educational institutions.
FP: So tell us how the Soviet Union trained some of our Islamist enemies.
Rasmussen: It became clear to me that the entrance into the Soviet system for practically all foreign students was the Lumumba University. (Click here and also Click here) After one or two years of language training and "political training" here they were then distributed to other educational institutions according to their capabilities and desires.
Those who were talented agitators stayed back at the Lumumba University. Those who were mere thugs with severe personality disorders were sent to Romania and Bulgaria to learn guerrilla warfare. Bulgaria was the playground for large scale guerrilla operations including the use of mortars and anti tank weapons, while Romania had many centers for city guerrilla warfare.
The smarter ones were sent to other places such as Czechoslovakia or Eastern Germany. In Czechoslovakia they were given an education as chemical engineers at the so-called "Semtex University". (Click here and Click here) The education was genuine and serious, but what really made my hairs stand on one end was the immense overweight of practical training in the preparation and use of explosives. It was taught to the Iranian students even down to the minutest details that these skills were deemed necessary if their "revolutionary aims" were to succeed.
In Eastern Germany there were several educational institutions teaching courses in all sorts of engineering. Some became construction engineers and learned everything about large buildings. Again I was taken aback when I learned that the young students were not only taught how to build something - but certainly also how to take it all down again in a single blow. As one of my asylum seekers said: "I doubted whether I should call myself a construction engineer or a demolition engineer".
As 9/11 unfolded before my eyes on the TV screen seven years later I thought of this young man's statement.
It is very important to bear in mind that the Iranians were nothing more than a tiny minority amongst the recruits of the Soviet Union. My Iranians told me that they had to stick together and protect each other by day and by night against the hordes of Arabs surrounding them everywhere on campus. Iranians and Arabs are known to hate each other.
Another important detail is that many of the Iranian students did have sincere aspirations about using their education for good purposes once back in Iran, and most of the graduates did eventually help in building up infrastructure and setting up a new educational system after the Islamic Revolution. However, there were also those who helped setting up the fundamental structures of the Mullah Regime's intelligence services and espionage services. But unfortunately the new regime suddenly turned against them all, and they had to flee. Their job was over and so were their lives.
FP: Kindly expand a bit on how Iranians trained in the Soviet Union ended up working for the Iranian regime.
Rasmussen: A very interesting small number of the Iranians trained in the Soviet system either during the times of the Shah or during the years of the Islamic Revolution finally ended up working for the Mullah Regime - even though they had been communists and should have been exterminated. I have met some of these types. I wouldn't wish for my worst enemy to be faced with one of these. I would describe this group as the most dangerous and unpredictable of them all. These individuals quite often became leaders of various special task forces and turned out to be useful in setting up terrorist cells and movements. I have good reasons to believe that this phenomenon was the same amongst the Arab graduates of the Soviet Terrorist Universities.
After I had been face to face with a number of these, it dawned upon me that the step from being a glowing red communist to becoming a blood-thirsty Muslim fundamentalist is actually a distance equal to zero. Since then I have seen these two categories as the two sides of the same coin. Communism and Islamic fundamentalism have more in common than what meets the eye. They share the same fundamental hatred against individualism and against individuals who wish to be happy and just enjoy life.
The Soviet system had a solid tradition of registering everything. We saw all the details meticulously noted down in every STASI report that came out after the fall of communism in 1989. I know that all the files of each and every single foreign student ever trained in the Soviet Union are still intact. They are kept as state treasures somewhere over there in the big bear's den. If the new Russia wants to show her good intentions in the war against terror she should brush the dust off these old archives and let all relevant authorities scrutinize them. If you trace down each and every single graduate you will also be able to see who in turn became his students or followers. The entire network which was set up by that generation in those days would become clearly visible. By now it has grown to vast dimensions.
FP: Ok, so what information do you have about the Iranians having nuclear weapons and the Soviet connection?
Rasmussen: Well, for one thing it is well known that many Iranians have studied nuclear physics in the Soviet Union. This does not just mean that some individuals were given some data about some sort of a topic. What matters here are the ties which have been formed between Russian individuals and Iranian individuals in the nuclear sphere.
"East is East and West is West, and never the Twain shall meet". This truth is the key to understanding oriental politics. Oriental politics is based on ties between individuals. It is not based on abstract principles such as law or morality or ethical codes. The keyword is: personal relations. It matters who is married to whom. It matters who is the son of whom. Clan affiliation is the determining factor. State and law cannot exist for the very simple reason that the clan is the largest entity which can be perceived by the individual citizen. Anything that tries to assume an authority above the clan immediately becomes reduced to nothing more than "a hostile clan". The idea of a state or government is absurd in a clan society.
Russia belongs to the oriental world. This fact needs to sink in before we can grasp Russian politics.
During my travels and stays in various oriental countries I have been able to establish ties with lots of very different people. In Pakistan I stayed with a retired colonel who taught me everything about Islam and about Pakistani politics the way he saw it. I also travelled all over Pakistan with a group of religious singers, Qawwali-singers, who taught me about the Sufi aspects of Islam and in particular about the discrepancies within Islam.
In Northern Pakistan in 1987 I stayed with weapons smugglers who told me how they procured unlimited quantities of weapons from Soviet depots inside the Soviet Union. In Turkey I stayed with a very wise philosopher who was also a muezzin in the local mosque. He opened my eyes to the many horrendous misinterpretations of Islam - but more notably also to the even worse actual statements in the Quran.
During a stay in one of the former Soviet republics after the fall of communism I had the pleasant opportunity to get into a circle of intellectuals who at that time were moving towards political power. I was very impressed by their purity of mind and their fearless endeavours and decided to help them as best I could. Nevertheless everything ended in turmoil and chaos due to the intrigues and dirty workings of the old KGB structures behind the curtain we all thought had fallen. Alas, no curtain ever fell. It was only moved to a position further backwards and deep into the dark shades of backstage.
Nevertheless, in 1992 I had some important talks with a high ranking government official from that country. He needed my help in some business dealings. During our relaxed conversations he told me lots of interesting details about his life and his various encounters with the Soviet system. Amongst many other stories he told me the following:
In autumn 1991 Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Khazakhstan, sold three nuclear warheads to the Iranians. The Iranians wanted to use them as a prototype for their own bomb manufacturing. The price was said to have been 7.5 billion USD. Whether this amount is true or just the fantasies of a less paid government official, I cannot verify. The amount was to cover all bribes and kick-offs and military protection during transport. Every country involved had demanded their fair share of the deal.
Anyway, the warheads were removed from a military depot somewhere in Kazakhstan and transported by train down to Makhachkala in Daghestan. Here they were reloaded onto huge trucks and then taken through the Caucasian region and into Turkey. In the city of Dogubeyazit the Iranians met the convoy and took over. The three vehicles were then driven by Iranian drivers down to the border post Bazargan, where they entered Iranian territory.
The warheads were brought down to Teheran and parked in the military campus Lavizan. Here they were seen by a soldier who later defected to Israel and told the story to the Israeli intelligence services who at that time were unable to verify the matter further. Various rumours have been circulating ever since. Some stories say two bombs, some say four. The correct number, however, is three.
Long before the downfall of communism in 1989 nuclear technology had been proliferated by the Soviet Union. The Mullah Regime had had connections and cooperation with the Soviet Union since the early days of the Islamic Revolution in 1978/79, but after 1989 hundreds and hundreds of Russian nuclear scientists were hired on by the Iranians who offered exorbitant wages and golden palaces to them in order to secure their loyalty. This has to be seen on the background of Soviet living conditions in those days. No wonder the Iranians could pick and choose as they wished.
I am personally convinced that Iran quickly managed to duplicate the bombs and that their only obstacle was to produce sufficient quantities of enriched uranium or other substances for their bombs. As of today I am convinced that Iran has had the nuclear bomb already for some years and is now only waiting for a good opportunity to wipe Israel off the map. I am convinced that Israel suddenly pulled out of their invasion of Lebanon long before accomplishing their stated goals simply and solely due to the threats from Iran. Israel finally realized that America was not in a position to make any pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. This is nothing more than my personal belief and conjecture.
But you might wonder whether or not there could be something to it if you take a look at some interesting reports. First take a look at this very interesting link: Then study this link. A few steps down the page you find this interesting note:
1991: A top-secret report from the newly formed Russian intelligence service claims that Iran has obtained at least two nuclear warheads from a batch listed as missing from Kazakhstan. The nuclear weapons were reportedly smuggled across the border to Iran in 1991 and are under the control of Reza Amrollahi, who is head of the Iranian Organization for Atomic Energy and is also in charge of recruiting atomic scientists from the former Soviet Union. Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev is believed to have engineered the weapons deal with Iran, exchanging warheads for hard currency or gasoline. US officials have denied aid to Kazakhstan based on the belief that Kazakhstan has nuclear ambitions.
—Roger Fallgot and Jan Mather, "Iran Has N-Bomb," The European, 30 April-3 May 1992, p. 1.
The bombs mentioned here are the ones I was told about on that cosy November evening in 1992. The entire story of what went on during the travel of that convoy from Khazakhstan and all the way down to the Iranian border is yet to be told. Right here we are running out of space.
But the story has another implication. There is absolutely no way the convoy could have entered into Turkey without clearance from the Turkish government. The Iranians had already cleared the way for the transport. This shows where the Turkish labyrinth also known as Turkish politics had its loopholes. There was an interest in Turkey at that time to support Iranian nuclear ambitions. In my view that interest has not diminished since then. The current political establishment in Turkey is clearly Islamist. The fear that Turkey has systematically allowed weapons grade uranium or plutonium to be transported via Turkish territory is not unfounded.
On the day when the Iranians decide to divulge their nuclear achievements Turkey will forget about becoming European. Turkey will show its true face and stick with the Muslim world. Iran has not made any nuclear tests on Iranian soil. Why? The test was carried out in Pakistan. So why bother to do it in Iran? What's the difference?
FP: Regnar Rasmussen, thank you for joining us and sharing this chilling information with us..
Rasmussen: Thank you Jamie.
Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine's managing editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in Soviet Studies. He edited and wrote the introduction to David Horowitz’s new book Left Illusions. He is also the co-editor (with David Horowitz) of the new book The Hate America Left and the author of Canadian Policy Toward Khrushchev’s Soviet Union (McGill-Queens University Press, 2002) and 15 Tips on How to be a Good Leftist. To see his previous symposiums, interviews and articles Click Here. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.