Why Iran arrested its own former nuclear negotiator

Mohammad Amin
Considering his key role in the Iranian foreign policy, the arrest of Mousavian, the former nuclear negotiator of the clerical regime is very significant.

From 1989 to mid 1997, Mousavian held the position of Iran’s ambassador to Germany, the most important representative of the mullah’s regime in Europe. Behind the scene, the mullahs were praising his role for  the logistical support of regime’s terrorist cells in Europe. Terrorism in that period formed the fundamental policy of the Iranian regime as their nuclear strategy does at the present time. The terrorist murder of four Kurdish dissidents in Mykonos restaurant in Berlin is among Mousavian’s records.

At the time of his arrest he held the position of Expediency Council’s Associate Director of Strategic Research Institute. But his most important position was the directorship of the Foreign Policy Committee of the Supreme Security Council during Khatami’s presidency. For eight years, he was the main spokesperson of the mullah’s regime in their nuclear negotiations. Mousavian used to be one of the main decision makers of the regime even beyond his official roles because of his close ties to the ruling elite and his diplomatic swindling.

His arrest on May 1st came in a surprising manner with no official explanation, especially since he was directly transferred to the high security 209 ward of the notorious Evin prison. The way the arrest was made and the fact that it was carried out by Tehran’s Prosecutor, demonstrates that it took place by direct orders of the Supreme Leader, Khamenei.

The fabricated charges such as financial corruption or espionage are not to be taken seriously. Financial corruption is not considered an offense for the regime’s high-ranking officials. Mousavian’s deep loyalty to the theocratic fascism rules out the spying charge. This arrest is related to the nuclear crisis encompassing the regime. 

Mousavian represents the policy of halting-uranium-enrichment to counter the regime’s isolation. In an interview with government controlled news agency, ISNA, he stated: "Referral of the nuclear dossier to the United Nations Security Council has created problems for the country." "We should have prevented the country to get to this dangerous point," this is how he described his view on the nuclear crisis.

Mousavian’s arrest is a clear warning to some of the regime’s officials who oppose Khamenei’s and Ahmadinejad’s nuclear policy. In order to justify the policy of appeasement with the Mullah’s dictatorship, some western officials hold this naive optimism that a faction of the regime against this nuclear policy might eventually come to power.

The arrest of Mousavian clearly demonstrates, as Khamenei and Ahmadinejad repeat on a daily basis, the Iranian regime will not step back an iota from its nuclear weapons program.

Mohammad Amin, is an expert on Iranian affairs who writes for international news media and journals