Tariq Rauf

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Tariq Rauf

Tariq Rauf was Director, Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (former Head, Verification and Security Policy Cooperation at the IAEA, Coordinator, Multilateral Approaches to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle, IAEA); Ph.D. (Canada).

Tariq Rauf became the Director of SIPRI’s Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation Programme in February 2014. Rauf is an internationally respected authority on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation issues. He was Senior Advisor to the Chair of the 2014 Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference. From 2002 to 2011 he was Head of the Verification and Security Policy Coordination Office at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), reporting to the Director General, in which capacity he dealt with high-priority verification cases involving Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, South Korea and Syria. He was also the Alternate Head of the IAEA delegation to Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Conferences from 2003 to 2010, and the IAEA Liaison and Point-of-Contact for a number of multilateral control regimes and United Nations Security Council committees.[1]

Russian spy?

The top U.N. official responsible for monitoring the clandestine nuclear programs of Iran and Pakistan is a Russian spy, according to a new book on Moscow’s espionage operations in the United States and Canada.

The official is identified only by his Russian code name, ARTHUR, but other sources identified him as Tariq Rauf, 54, a Pakistani-born Canadian who is chief of verification and security-policy coordination at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The job “puts him in direct contact with both inspectors and countries around the globe,” a Canadian online magazine reported last year. “Rauf is responsible for ensuring IAEA scientists get into countries such as Iran and negotiating the access they need to completely verify the use of nuclear material.”

The allegations appear in “Comrade J: The Untold Secrets of Russia’s Master Spy in America After the End of the Cold War” by former Washington Post reporter Pete Earley, author of two previous books on Russian spying in the United States.

The book amounts to a blistering memoir by Sergei Tretyakov, a former top Russian intelligence operative stationed in New York and Canada during the 1990s, first with the communist-era KGB and then its successor, the SVR.

Rauf called Tretyakov’s allegation “nonsense.”

He had “never” worked “for any intel types whatsoever. I am a impartial loyal international civil servant,” he said by e-mail from the IAEA’s headquarters in Vienna on Friday.

But in the first of two telephone conversations earlier in the day, Rauf was far less dismissive, declining an opportunity to flatly deny the allegations. He refused to say whether he knew or had ever met Tretyakov, who worked under diplomatic cover.

“Comrade J” describes several other alleged Russian spies in Canada only by code name, but in such rich detail that it’s not hard to figure out who they are.

Tretyakov’s description of ARTHUR all but names Rauf as his spy.

“When Sergei had recruited ARTHUR [in 1990],” Earley writes, “he worked at the Canadian Centre for Arms Control,” a think tank for experts on nuclear weapons.

Later, ARTHUR was “a project director at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, part of the Monterey Institute of International Studies, a California think tank,” he relates.

A few years later, when Tretyakov became deputy chief of Russian intelligence in New York, he renewed his relationship with ARTHUR, who had become “a U.N. senior verification expert,” who specialized in the clandestine weapons programs of “rogue states” such as Iran, Libya and his native Pakistan.

“I know that he is still employed at the agency and I have no reason to believe he has stopped working for Russian intelligence,” the one-time master spy says in the book.

“He hated America.”

Rauf’s résumé is identical to Tretyakov’s description of ARTHUR’S career. They are one and the same, according to multiple sources.

A former Russian diplomat and arms control specialist who knew Tretyakov well in New York, reviewed the description of ARTHUR and said it appeared to describe Rauf.

“The fingered Canadian guy, well, you know only too well who could theoretically fit this reference,” he said on condition of anonymity.

Another former Monterey arms expert, when asked whether Rauf might be the spy code-named ARTHUR, said, “Yes, the name you provided is correct.”

When contacted for this story, Rauf said a Canadian newspaper reporter had presented him with the same allegations days earlier.

He said he had not decided whether to contest the allegations in court.

Author Earley said he had examined Tretyakov’s records — photographs, e-mail, even a restaurant napkin on which ARTHUR scribbled notes about Ukrainian missiles — to back up every allegation.

“If they want to sue us, fine,” said Earley of all the Canadians that Tretyakov describes as spies. “We’ll just run Sergei up there with our stuff and see what happens.” [2]

New Zealand visit

In 1996 Tariq Rauf, visited New Zealand.

The taxpayer/French government funded Peace and Disarmament Education Trust granted $705 towards the cost of the trip under its Visiting Speakers Programme.

Expenses were covered for Mr Tariq Rauf’s visit to New Zealand. He was the Director of the International Organisations and Non-Proliferation Project at the Centre for Non-Proliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies.

PADET funds the “peace” movement, indicating that a peace group or groups may have sponsored Mr Rauf’s trip.

"Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament: Ideas from Russia, Ideas for Russia," Seminar, May 8, 2012

The event was organized in cooperation with the PIR Center (The Russian Center for Policy Studies), Centre Russe d'Etudes Politiques, and the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The first part of the panel discussion ("ideas from Russia") reviewed Russia's approaches to nuclear arms reduction and disarmament in the light of the Action Plan adopted at the 2010 NPT Review Conference. The second part ("ideas for Russia") discussed prospects of international cooperation in nuclear disarmament and specific measures that could be adopted by the United States and Russia as well as the international community as a whole.

Speakers included:

  • Vladimir I. Voronkov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Russia's Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna
  • Dr. Vladimir A. Orlov, President, PIR Center
  • Elena K. Sokova, Executive Director, Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation
  • Victor L. Vasiliev, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the Office of the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva,
  • Albert F. Zulkharneev, Director, Education and Training Program, PIR Center
  • Tibor Toth, Executive Secretary, Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)
  • Ambassador Alexander Kmentt, Director for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs
  • Dr. William C. Potter, Director, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies and Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar Professor of Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies
  • Tariq Rauf, Head of Verification and Security Policy, External Relations and Policy Coordination Office, International Atomic Energy Agency[3]

Iran deal

Tariq Rauf, now with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, commented on President Barack Obama's propose Iran nuclear deal. He said that because Parchin isn't a declared nuclear facility but rather a military site -- which countries are typically reluctant to have foreigners explore -- it would fall under the IAEA's "managed access" procedures.

Those procedures would allow Iranians to do the actual sampling of the grounds, but they would be under supervision of IAEA officials and would be using IAEA-provided equipment.

"It's not that the Iranians are going to disappear into a room and then reappear and say, 'OK, here are the swipes.' No one would ever agree to that," he said.

Rauf, who was part of a group of nuclear experts who wrote a letter supporting the Iran deal, said it would be "absolutely inconceivable" that the IAEA would have made any agreement with Iran that would impugn its credibility, which is on the line.

Rauf said that as long as there was IAEA supervision and equipment, the Iranian involvement was "not terribly concerning at all."

He charged that the leak of the draft document to AP was "a ploy by opponents of the agreement to cry or get critics in Washington to oppose it."[4]


  1. SIPRI bio, accessed December 2015
  2. UN Arms Verification Official Named As Russian Spy Submitted by Admin on January 19, 2008 – 10:21 pm ESTNo Comment From Congressional Quarterly Jan 19
  3. [http://vcdnp.org/120510_prepcom_events_report.htmVienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation "Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament: Ideas from Russia, Ideas for Russia," Seminar, May 8, 2012]
  4. [http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/20/politics/iran-inspections-report-nuclear-deal-experts/CNN News, Iranian role in inspections fuels critics of deal Anchor Muted Background By Tal Kopan, CNN Updated 8:24 PM ET, Thu August 20, 2015]