Sunday, April 16, 2006


A Nuclear Bill of Rights

A contact, Amirreza, in the northern Iran city of Tabriz told me that he isn't proud about Iran's nuclear program, but views it as a right, and that every country has a right to nuclear energy. He also pointed out that Iran is not a provacator of war, and he views the U.S. as such (indeed, Iraq provoked the Iran-Iraq war). Iran's nuclear power will be used for peace, he told me, and that throughout Iran's long history, they have always valued peace, a respectable life, and freedom.

It's helpful for me to hear what the people of Iran are thinking. And if Amirreza is any representation of that, they're not thinking about war and global supremecay, but about their own proud heritage and how they may continue that.

Given the quantitites of oil and natural gas that exist in Iran, there is no reason to believe they NEED nuclear fuel for "energy" purposes.

Second, it is far from clear that Iran's history reveals a value for "respectable life, and freedom". If anything, the Revolution - and one could go even further back to include the Shah and Mossadegh- made clear that freedom was not to come at the expense of religious integrity.

I think it overly naive to believe that the Iranians are not interested in military nuclearization. For sure, the country believes it has a proud heritage, but it also feels squeezed by American military activity in Afghanistan and Iraq, and it feels that nuclear weapons are the only way to guarantee security.
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