PARIS, 29 July (IPS) Cyrus Nasseri, one of the senior Iranian negotiators with both the European Union’s so called “Big 3” and the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been arrested.
Both “Baaztab” news service that belongs to Mr. Mohsen Reza’i, a former Commandeer of the Revolutionary Guards and the present secretary of the Expediency Council and the independent “Roshangari” said Mr. Nasseri has been arrested by the Judiciary investigating the consortium made of Oriental Kish and Halliburton -- which has US Vice President Dick Cheney as the Chairman of its Board of Directors -- awarded for the exploitation of phases 9 and 10 of the huge South Pars gas and oil field in the Persian Gulf.
The information is so far not confirmed by the Iranian authorities and neither sites say when Mr. Nasseri, a carrier diplomat, had been arrested and the mobile telephone of Mr. Nasseri, an outspoken negotiator, was not responding on 29 July.
According to Baztab, the phases 9 and 10 should yield 50 billions of natural gas and 400 tons of sulfides by the next Iranian year of 1385 for a cost of 282 millions US Dollars.
“Roshangari” says investigations show 70 million dollars of illicit profit made by the consortium and adds that Mr. Nasseri is the Deputy Chairman of Oriental Kish.
The first news about the possible arrest of Mr. Nasseri and several other officials involved with oil contracts was provided by “Fars” News Agency close to the Judiciary.
Kish Oriental-Halliburton won the contract last year.
Investigations show 70 million dollars of illicit profit awarded to the consortium.
“While the original contract was for 282 million dollars, the final document increased the figure to 360 million, “offering” the consortium some 70 millions”, Baztab reported, adding that for its part, Halliburton is not spending “one penny” in the project, bringing only technical support and machineries.
“The close collaboration between a senior Iranian negotiator in the sensitive nuclear talks with the Vice President of the United States and an oil firm that has close working relationship with the Pentagon and NASA creates grave consequences for the security of Iran”, the internet site added.
"First investigations by the Judiciary reveals interesting and important information of the oil mafia", Baztab said without further comment.
During his electoral campaign, Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadi Nezhad, the future president of the Islamic Republic had wowed “merciless fight” against corruption in the Iranian Administration and promised he would “cut all hands” on the Oil Ministry, a veiled reference to Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former president who was defeated in the last elections at the hands of the former Mayor of Tehran that consistent rumours alleges of him and his family’s “monopolization” of all lucrative projects, above all oil industry. ENDS NASSERI ARRESTED 29705