Prof. Akbar E. Torbat | 28 June 2016
The following describes how President Obama’s administration along with a number of NGOs secretly collaborated with the clerics in Tehran to dismantle Iran’s nuclear program and engineered Hassan Rouhani’s presidential election to make that happen.
How the Deal Was Initiated
In 2001, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund financed a New York based organization called “Iran Project” which aimed to re-establish Washington relations with Tehran.  Iran Project was led by a number of former American diplomats who developed relationships with some Iranian diplomats, including Mohammad Javad Zarif, then a young diplomat working at Iran’s mission in New York. The Project staff arranged secret meetings with the Iranians affiliated with the Institute for Political and International Studies, a think tank linked to Iran’s Foreign Ministry, and they briefed the State Department and the White house. The main objective of the Project was to dismantle Iran’s nuclear infrastructure by installing a favorable government in Tehran. However, the meetings were suspended after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president in 2005. President Ahmadinejad stayed firm against the US pressures to preserve Iran’s right to enrich uranium.
Meanwhile, the Bush administration and in particular the then Vice President Dick Cheney wanted to use military force against Iran. The Wall Street investor, George Soros had opposed the US-led military interventions around the world.  Soros wanted to promote the US political and economic influence by means of soft power and color revolutions in the form accomplished in Eastern Europe.  After President Barack Obama came to the White House in 2009, he covertly promoted the so-called Green Movement to depose president Ahmadinejad. However, the movement failed and Iran continued to progress on its nuclear program.
In March 2012, the former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, in an interview with Fareed Zakaria at CNN, said diplomatic negotiations with Iran would only work if the United States was willing to give the Islamic Republic security assurances that it would survive.  He suggested, the US should ignore the Islamic Republic’s human rights abuses and guarantee to protect the regime against threats in exchange for concessions to abandon its nuclear activities. Under this plan, the clerical regime would be preserved under the US protection similar to the Arab monarchies and sheikdoms in the Persian Gulf region. In exchange, the clerics would cooperate to protect US interests in the region. Therefore, instead of regime change policy that had been pursued by the Bush administration and economic pressures and prior covert operations against Iran by Obama’s administration, the new policy became to engage with the clerics in Tehran. 
In the meantime, several rounds of nuclear negotiations had been going on between Iran’s team headed by Saeed Jalili and 5+1 group of countries in various locations, including one in Moscow in June 18-19, 2012, which did not result in what the West desired. Subsequently, under the US pressure, the EU member countries imposed economic sanctions against Iran effective on July 1, 2012. Suffering from harsh economic pressures, the clerics felt President Ahmadinejad’s firm stance against the West could destabilize their regime. Hence, they decided to bypass the president and secretly negotiate with the White House. They sent a separate team to Muscat to negotiate a nuclear deal through a back channel with the White House. Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said acted as mediator between the two governments.
Also, several NGOs, including the National Iranian American Council and Iran Project lobbied to make the negotiations possible. The Rockefeller Brothers Funds and the Soros Open Society foundations via Ploughshares Fund were the main donors to finance the NGOs and media outlets to derail Iran’s nuclear program. Funds from these sources and the White House efforts to develop direct dialogue with the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei paved the way for the nuclear deal. Since Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had issued fatwa to forbid manufacturing nuclear bombs, President Barack Obama secretly exchanged letters with him and promised not to overthrow the regime. Obama’s engagement with the clerics in Tehran became so intense that the Wall Street Journal wrote in an editorial “they [the Democrats] now own the Ayatollahs”.  In July 2012, secret meetings with the new team resumed in Muscat, Oman. An idea in the meetings was to let Iran enrich a very small amount of uranium to save face.
Rouhani’s Engineered Election
To pave the way for approval of the secret agreement, a cleric had to succeed president Ahmadinejad. George Soros had met with the former cleric president Mohammad Khatami a couple of times and wanted to bring him back to the presidency. Since Khatami was barred to run in 2013 presidential elections, the Green movement changed its color to Violet for promoting another cleric Hassan Rouhani to become president. With the help of the US-based NGOs along with Western media’s propagandas and collaboration of reformists in Iran, Hassan Rouhani became president in 2013.
The announcement of Rouhani “elected” as president in June 2013, was highly surprising because most Iranians hate to see clerics ruling their country. How would it be possible that the only cleric among eight pre-selected candidates by the regime became president? After the announcement, no accusation of rig elections was made as is usually the case when the US does not like an elected candidate in the Third World. The observers assumed Rouhani’s rig election was engineered to destroy Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the US protection of the clerics to rule Iran.
Professor Hooshang Amirahmadi who heads the American Iranian Council, said the presidential election in 2013 was “engineered” to make Hassan Rouhani the preferred candidate so that the secret nuclear deal could be concluded.  Actually, the Key members of Rouhani’s administration were selected from the same group of former Iranian diplomats at Iran’s United Nations mission, the so-called New York Circle (Halgheh New Yorkiha), which included Zarif as Foreign Minister. Zarif had earlier established friendly relations with some well-known Americans. Over a decade before, Zarif had met then Senator John Kerry first in a party hosted by George Soros.  Zarif led Iran’s negotiator team, which included Ali Akbar Salehi, Abbas Araghchi, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, and Hussein Fereydoon, Rouhani’s younger brother who had formerly served in the Iranian UN mission. Subsequently, Rouhani with the consent of Leader Khamenei, accepted all major US demands to seal the nuclear deal.
The Concealed Facts Revealed
In fact, a scenario for the nuclear deal had been prepared years earlier and was shown in the television series 24, which aired on Fox in 2010 in the United States. In an episode in the series there is a peace conference between President of the United States “Allison Taylor” [Hillary Clinton] and President “Hassan” [Rouhani] of the fictional Islamic Republic of “Kamistan” [Iran].  President Hassan agrees to dismantle his country’s nuclear program. In exchange the sanctions on his country are lifted and for political maneuvering the country is permitted to have only 6000 centrifuges, which was exactly the same number as in the Lausanne’s nuclear agreement.
Information revealed after implementation of the nuclear deal by the US press provided more clues on how the nuclear accord was sealed. In May, 2016, several news articles appeared in the US press which confirmed the negotiations had been secretly going on for some time and as a matter of formality, some details were left out to be negotiated after the deal became public. The key article appeared in the New York Times Magazine, which interviewed Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser at the White House.  According to Rhodes, secret meetings had been arranged since July 2012 in Muscat, between a team from the White House and an Iranian team sent by the Leader Khamenei to negotiate on the nuclear issue.
Rhodes said he “created an echo chamber” of experts to sell the nuclear deal in spring of 2015. He added “they were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.” Other articles and a book titled “Alter Egos” by Mark Landler revealed more information. John Kerry had been involved in Iran’s deal even before he became secretary of state. In December 2011, when Kerry was still in the Senate, he “held his own secret talks in Oman which created the predicate for the State Department’s channel”. According to Landler, Jake Sullivan, the Deputy Chief of Staff was a member of a three-person team that conducted the back-channel talks. More secret meetings through Omani channel followed in 2012, with Deputy Secretary Bill Burns’ participation. The basic framework of the nuclear deal was laid down in the secret talks that began in July 2012 in Muscat and continued in Geneva and New York.  After John Kerry assumed office as the Secretary of State on February 1, 2013, he formally took over the negotiations.The negotiations later accelerated when Hassan Rouhani became Iran’s president.
On the whole, Hassan Rouhani’s election was engineered to finalize the nuclear accord. Rouhani with backing of the Leader Khamenei conceded to the West’s demands to sacrifice Iran’s national interest in exchange for preserving their clerical rule in Iran. The Western powers propped up the clerics to have another puppet government in the Persian Gulf region.
Professor Akbar E. Torbat teaches economics at California State University, Los Angeles. He received his PhD in political economy from the University of Texas at Dallas. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Webpage: http://web.calstatela.edu/faculty/atorbat
 Iran Project, http://iranprojectfcsny.org/ and http://theiranproject.com Also see Peter Waldman, How Freelance Diplomacy Bankrolled by Rockefellers Has Paved the Way for an Iran Deal, July 2, 2015, http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-07-02/how-freelance-diplomacy-bankrolled-by-rockefellers-has-paved-the-way-for-an-iran-deal
 Soros, George, the Bubble of American Supremacy, Public Affairs, New York 2004.
 Kissinger: Talks work only if US gives Iran something, 16, March 2012, p. 1, http://iran-times.com/kissinger-talks-work-only-if-us-gives-iran-somthing/
 The Confrontation with Iran: A Covert War, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30305.htm , the cover war included using computer malwares to cripple Iran’s nuclear centrifuges and sabotage of nuclear installations and assassinations of Iran’s nuclear scientists by Israel Mossad; the last one assassinated on January 11, 2012. Also see DAVID E. SANGER, Obama Order Sped up Wave of Cyber-attacks against Iran, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/world/middleeast/obama-ordered-wave-of-cyberattacks-against-iran.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 .
 The Wall Street Journal, Democrats and the Ayatollahs, September 3, 2015
 Hooshang Amirahmadi Responds to Ben Rhodes’s Thoughts on Nuclear Accord
May 12, 2016, http://www.us-iran.org/news/2016/5/12/amirahmadi-on-voice-to-america
 Michele Hickford, You will NOT BELIEVE who was best man at John Kerry’s daughter’s wedding, July 28, 2015,
 Serial 24, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlihBeBfpR0 , also Persian VOA https://www.facebook.com/348107372048510/videos/390516254474288
 DAVID SAMUELS, The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign Policy, May 6, 2016 http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/08/magazine/the-aspiring-novelist-who-became-obamas-foreign-policy-guru.html?_r=0
 Landler, Mark, Alter Egos: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and the Twilight Struggle over American Power, Random House, 2016. pp 235-37