As if the Iranian regime needs a dark side, darker than mass executions, darker than a recurring clandestine nuclear weapons program, darker than brutal oppression of minorities, and promoting worldwide terrorism. The foundations of this dark side lie in the rise of the fundamentalistic Islamic revolution, and have been sporadically exposed over the last four decades, only to be fully uncovered today – the Russian hand behind the scenes!

Late seventies the culture attaché of Russia to Paris was suddenly increasing his cover-up activities, while moving from one meeting to another, in various cafés, parks, and private owned safe-houses of the French capital. Only now, as former KGB agents tell their stories, we learn that the prime directive of the local KGB desk was to help Ruhollah Musawi Khomeini, the exiled Shiite spiritual leader, to organize a coup d’etat, using Russian methods and resources.

The Soviet Union was fighting the Islamization of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, fearing that the border wars with Pakistan will not be enough and that a changed Afghanistan might switch sides with Western-oriented Pakistan and Iran. Russian intervention in Afghanistan was imminent, but the decision by the polit bureau was hasty, as if out of reflex. On the other hand, the issue of Iran was handled carefully and delicately, as this matter was valued as a strategic interest. Brezhnev believed that Iran holds the secret for a long-time future of the Soviet Union, both in resources and access to the Persian Gulf, as long as it is anti-American. This could be only established by a change of government. Iran must be turned into the southern safety-net of the Soviet Union.

The KGB took up the challenge unwillingly. There was not enough manpower that spoke Farsi, and not enough sources within Iran, especially not in the centers, meaning that they had assets in the provinces and over the borders of the Soviet Union. Within only two years the KGB established close relations with key figures connected with Khomeini. In late 1978 he was approached directly and operation “Caspian Caviar” was underway.

Later on, the name was changed, as Khomeini was displeased with the connotations of wealth in the name. This was a long-term engagement, in which a personal bond of mutual commitment was construed, a bond between the spiritual leader of Iran and the head of the KGB. This bond has overcome many earthquakes, like the clash between highly religious clerics in Iran with the purely secular Soviet ideology, the Iranian inclination to rely on Western technology whenever possible, and even the imperialistic philosophy, based on the Persian empire and reincarnated in the Shiite regional Super-power. This bond was a part of the inheritance to Khamenei, but not to the SVR. The P.O.C. in the KGB was promoted over the years, from his desk in Europe and into his political career. Today the P.O.C. is called Vladimir Putin, and ever since the Ukraine war, he cashes in, big-time.

Back in the seventies, the KGB influence apparatus worked overtime, exposing the corruption of the Shah Pahlavi, pushing the connection between religion and morals on the streets of Tehran, and playing the cards from both sides. Not only did they promote Khomeini, they helped the Shah family understand that the end is coming in they had too much to lose. In the end, the KGB recruited one Mahmud Ahmadinejad to storm the American Embassy, promising him not money, but a beautiful career. This investment paid out with interest over the years.

When the Soviet Union crumbled, Iran took over the influence in most former Muslim Soviet states. In return, Russia made sure that Iran will survive even a war with all-time Soviet favorite thorn in the US-thigh, Saddam Hussein. Sometimes in 2003, it was “touch and go”, as the US-alliance forces were fighting in neighboring Iraq, and Iran was running a clandestine nuclear weapons program. Khamenei was not sure, whether Iraq had gathered inside information about the project, which now would reach the hands of the Americans, possibly leading to an advance against the Mullah-regime. Russia withdrew their scientific delegation headed by Wjatscheslaw Danilenko, an explosion expert helping Iran with the suitable bomb design. Promptly the order to stop the military nuclear R&D came from the highest ranks. “When they come to inspect, they will find exactly what they found in Bagdad, nothing,” said Ali Shamkhani. In fact, when IAEA wanted to take a closer look at the Lavisan-Shian site headed by Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in late 2003, Iran simply ordered to bring in the bulldozers and wipe away the whole building complex. A new football field was created.

Still, Russia stood by Iran, against the critic by the clerics. When Germany withdrew from building the Power-reactor in Bushehr, the Russians volunteered immediately to finish the project. Not much different was the Iranian effort to build the IR-40. This is a heavy-water reactor, most suitable to produce weapons-grade plutonium, a significant short-cut to producing nuclear weapons. True, Iran was not met with any empathy when she tried to find someone to build this reactor. The beginning of the 90ties, shortly after the Iran-Iraq war, no-one doubted the reason for building such a reactor, and the reason was surely not medical isotopes for the hospitals in Tehran. None-the-less, once Iran started to build the reactor “by herself”, she soon found help from Russian companies, helping her to “modify” the design of the fuel rod bundle. No wonder that the IR-40 looks very much like the Russian RBMK, well known from the Chernobyl disaster.

When you add it all up, the relations between Russia and Iran have always looked gloomy, edgy, and even hostile, when in fact, Iran was and is not only dependent on Russia, the Iranian regime owes its very existence to what is now called Russia, in particular to president Vladimir Putin.

If you now take a look at Iran’s involvement in the world theatre over the last four years, it all makes much more sense. Iran supplying Russia with Kamikaze drones, Iran allowing Russia to use its sanction-circumvention apparatus, Iran igniting the middle-east to draw away attention from Ukraine and even Iran partaking in the Chinese led economic conglomerate, the BRICS. China should have been banned from any cooperation with Iran, mainly for the genocide of the Uygurs, a Muslim minority that is considered by China a hazard to national stability. But there is an upside, yet we will not go into the benefits for the Mullahs, the billions in cash for the family funds, or even on a national level, access to South Africa’s nuclear secrets and an almost open and willing oil market.

Iran is still loyal, but Russia has unleashed the Farsi puppy to roam on its own, which led to some problems with the Houthis, especially for China. There is now a mutual interest, the collaboration is no longer a secret – it’s out there.