Friday, August 25, 2006

Iran: "Thanks for the nuclear reactor, U.S.!"

The history behind Iran and the US is long and mixed. Not so many can remember the days when Iran was pro-American - certainly less than can recall the time when Iraq and Saddam were US allies. So it may come as a shock to learn that the Tehran Research Reactor, along with its weapons-grade uranium, was a gift from Uncle Sam back in the '60's.Ironically, it is the fuel from this reactor which could find its way into a future Iranian nuclear weapon which in turn could be used against its old Cold War ally.

The reality though is that this is unlikely. Not only has it been officially reported that the Iranians are at least 10 years away from producing a bomb, their current nuclear programme is said to be lacking "the most basic and simple principles of physics and mathematics," according to a study carried out in 2004. In 2001, the facility suffered a serious accident, for which quality control, described as being a "chronic disease", was blamed.

So should the US be concerned about the nuclear activities being carried out in the Tehran complex and the other sites dotted around the country? Well in todays global nuclear free-market, countries such as Russia, China and North Korea are suspected of aiding Iran in furthering its development and the US argues that such a source of energy is unnecessary, given the oil-rich status of their Middle Eastern foe. Thats begs the question 'why did the US see fit to furnish Iran in the first place when the pro-western Shar was in power?' but the current administration doesn't wish to dwell on the past.

The Iranians have admitted using some fuel, supplied previously from Argentina, in enrichment tests, so maybe there is a weapons programme of sorts which has been dabbled with, but its unlikely to have made any real progress, as recent assessments by international bodies have stated. But Iran still has to prove that the programme no longer exists in order to satisfy its critics. If the US has already made up its mind, as it did with the Iraq WMD's, this may be academic. Will the US directly, or by proxy, launch a pre-emptive assault? Many say yes, saying that it's not a matter of if, but when, with any attack likely to be nuclear in itself due to the nature of the targets themselves and the lack of military recources to conduct a fullscale ground assault. We will find out soon enough.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, true believers. Uncle Sam likes to leave behind his toys for the little children he plays with. He leaves them hungry, too.

Then they grow up to be vengeful and US-hating sowers of destruction. (but not as much as Uncle Sam)

Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, etc.... the main concerns of the world today are based on past deeds committed by the USA.

Arming an 'ally' while niavely building up its infrastructure only leaves them more powerful after the US leaves 'em behind.