Iran is developing a nuclear power program. That everyone knows. What is in question is whether they will use that program to also develop a nuclear weapon. The Western powers claim they will (or are already doing so), while Iran claims it is just developing a peaceful program to supply their country with electricity.
There has been a lot written about Iran and its possible uses for their nuclear program, but one of the best articles I have read is from my friend and fellow blogger over at Thurman's Notebook. He calls his post "Talking Persian Atomic Blues", and this is what he says:
We hear a lot of big talk coming out of Washington these days regarding Iran’s “nuclear energy program.”
“Oh no, the evil brown people are ’bout to get a nukular bomb, Thelma Lou! We gotta nip it in the bud! Nip it, nip it, nip it!”
Developing a nuclear energy program might be a sensible option for any nation to think about these days. Let’s be honest, no matter how much oil there is left in the ground, the prospect of extracting it and putting it to constructive use gets more expensive and less economical every year; never mind the environmental costs of burning the stuff. If I were trying to build a sustainable energy program for a developing nation today, nuclear energy would probably be on my list of things to look into.
Don’t get me wrong, I have big qualms with nuclear energy. Having witnessed the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl incidents during my formative years I’m not exactly comfortable with the idea; but the older I get and the deeper I dig into the real electricity needs of an advanced western civilization, the more nuclear energy looks like a viable option. Why shouldn’t the folks in Iran and other less developed countries be thinking that way to?
Of course the real issue is the suspicion that the Iranians have an ulterior motive; building a nuclear weapon. We’re kind of like the pot calling the kettle black since we not only have nuclear weapons of our own, but we also helped several of Iran’s neighbors to obtain theirs. Let’s not forget that in helping Iran’s peers to obtain said nukes, our government acted in direct violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; a treaty which, incidentally, Iran signed when several of it’s neighbors refused.
Iran is surrounded by nuclear powers; Russia, China, Pakistan, India, American occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, all have access to atomic weapons. And let’s not forget about the Zionists over in Israel; possibly the biggest threat to Iranian sovereignty and security in the region. Brother Tim, over at the Blog of Revelation, got it exactly right when he asked, “How would you like to be the only one in your neighborhood without a gun?”
Iran’s mistrust and disgust with western powers, especially the British and Americans, goes back fifty years or more and are not without justification.
In 1951, the Iranian parliament elected Mohammed Mossadegh prime minister and he set about working to nationalize the oil industry, Iran’s most valuable natural resource, so that the profits could be used for the benefit of the Iranian people. In 1953, at the request of the British government, the Eisenhower administration sent in the CIA and the resulting coup returned to power the Shah, a brutal dictator and a puppet of the West.
I have to admit, I’d be more than a little bit pissed off if somebody subverted my democratically elected leaders in order to benefit of a few multinational corporations.
Do I think the Iranians have gone about addressing these issues in the most diplomatic way possible? No, of course not, nor do I condone the way either side has managed the issue, but threatening to drop our big military dime on them is not constructive. We would all be better served by making a greater effort to understand and alleviate the reasons why the Iranians, and anyone else for that matter, feels the need for nuclear weapons.
Nuclear weapons are a deterrent and once a nation has them, it’s neighbors are much less apt to attack. The Iranian people are intelligent, thoughtful people with a long and rich cultural history. They are not suicidal, jihadist maniacs hell bent on death and destruction at any cost. In modern times they have neither invaded nor attacked any other nation. Odds are they just want to live peacefully and be left alone, and isn’t that pretty much what we all want?