By Joseph Lerner
For the past three years the reports, analyses, studies and scholarly works in the international community have been increasingly focusing on the Iranians’ nuclear program. The international community, rightfully so, especially the NATO nations and Israelis are gravely concerned about the Iranians’ ability to build nuclear warhead within months. One doesn't need to cite other scholarly works or reports when discussing these issues, since these are common knowledge amongst those who are involved in studying and analysing the geopolitics of the Middle East, Iran and the Iranians’ nuclear program.
The other side of this argument is what the Iranians present. The Iranians claim that their uranium enrichment program and nuclear facilities are for peaceful purposes to generate electricity. Furthermore, the Iranians outside and in Iran, as well as the Iranian political dissidents in the West, with some rare exceptions, unanimously believe that it is “the Iran's Right to have peaceful nuclear capabilities”.
The above are the arguments that we are hearing from all sides. Let's sit back for a moment, and hypothetically set the Iranians’ argument’s premises to be true. The Iranians argument’s premises are: a) Iran has the “Right to” peaceful nuclear capabilities. b) The Iranians need nuclear facilities to generate electricity. These are the two premises for the argument that both the Iranian government and public present.
There is one essential point that makes the entire Iranians' argument not a sound one. The second premise of the Iranians’ argument that states “Iran needs to have nuclear capabilities to generate electricity” is untrue. Iran has abundance of natural gas resources. The Iranians using their natural gas supply are able to generate clean electricity for the next few centuries.
Furthermore, the Iranians could become the envy of the other countries in the region by being able to export electricity and natural gas to their neighbours for at least the next 500 years. Therefore, Iran doesn’t need to have nuclear capabilities to generate electricity. The Iranians “want to” and “have desire” for having nuclear capabilities. Therefore, the second premise of the Iranians’ argument is not the true one but merely a fallacy and misrepresentation of the facts by the Iranians. These realities and facts give rise to the next questions that are: a) why a nation such as Iran that is so rich in natural resources is too eager and in rush to enrich uranium? b) What are the sources and roots of such an “intense desire” of the Iranians for having nuclear capabilities?
The other reality to consider is looking at how the Iranians’ infrastructure and building code works. Iran has a rapidly growing population of approximately about 80 million people. About 18 million of the Iranians live in its capital city Tehran. In Tehran, all that one could see from all directions of compass on the ground are high-rises built from the lowest altitude right up to the mountains. The other thing that one could see is the ocean of highways covering the landscape of Tehran. These structures have been built without any consideration given to pollution growth, traffic management, environment or pollution. The other important infrastructures such as city sewage systems, clean water, etc. are not properly considered or well thought out in Iran, especially in their capital city Tehran.
The city of Tehran is over crowded with not enough schools, hospitals, emergency rooms, fire services, etc. The young population in Iran are highly educated. The educated males in Iran until they haven’t served the government in various capacities as conscripts have no rights, and practically cannot participate fully in life. High percentage of the Iran’s population suffers from drug addictions and substance abuse, and the young and adult Iranians are not immune to such drug addictions and substance abuse. There are violations of Human Rights, “the basic human rights”, we are neither addressing Freedom of Speech and Expression, nor other civil liberties here in this article that we benefit from in the West.
The most logical question that comes to one's mind is: how is it possible for the Iranian regime to deny and ignore all these issues, social problems and internal complexes in Iran that need urgent attention, but focus all its efforts and finances only on one issue: pushing its agenda that is to advance its uranium enrichment? This is where, how and when the first premise of the Iranian regime’s argument that states “Iran has the right to peaceful nuclear capabilities” is untrue and false. The Iranian regime that does not even comprehend or display some compassion towards its own people’s “basic and fundamental rights” is not ready or in a position at all to talk about its right to have access to nuclear capabilities.
How is it possible for a nation such as Iran that has the highest percentage of educated young population in its capital city Tehran, the youths who for the most part fluently speak English, to logically accept such a non-sense of “nuclear capability for peaceful purposes” that is fed to the Iranians as part of their “national pride” by the Iranian regime’s propaganda machine? Especially, how would the educated young Iranians and students allow the Iranian regime to sell these non-sense ideas to them when their country men and women, youths and children hardly can even afford food and shelter in rest of Iran that is outside of the boundaries of northern Tehran?
Anyone who has done business in Iran or professionally studied about these ongoing issues in Iran, especially in the areas of construction and development would confirm and is fully aware of the facts, that Iran and its developers operate based on a profoundly corrupt system, and old and dangerous building code. The whole process of issuing building licences that take place in Iran are based on bribery and connections as common practices. The Iranian nuclear power-plants and those who are awarded the contracts to build them, and standards of building code often seems to follow the same footsteps that the rest of the Iranian culture of construction and development follows throughout in Iran. The IAEA inspectors have not been allowed to profoundly investigate these issues. The Iranian nuclear power-plants are not that of Japanese made ones which stood the destructive forces of tsunami and unbearable shocks that were brought forth by the earthquake as it followed the tsunami. The tragedies that we recently all witnessed as it happened in Japan back in 2011. BBC report: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12709598
Iran is on the earthquake line and historically has experienced the most devastating earthquakes. So many people have died during these earthquakes that have occurred in Iran. The Iranians' Bushehr Nuclear Reactor is located nearby Persian Gulf. There are other nuclear reactors in Iran that are located nearby urban areas that some are on earthquake line. The Iranians are famous for doing a quick job and do it in rush when it comes to construction in Iran. The Iranians have not let the UN Security Council and IAEA inspectors to enter all of their nuclear facilities to fully and meticulously examine their structural design. The most recent earthquake in Iran was reported in January 2012 by Reuters: http://reut.rs/yos9bH
The first earthquake that happens and cracks one of the Iranians' nuclear facilities, then the world will witness the kinds of Chernobyl disasters, that even with the technology and knowledge that the world has today, such disasters could not be fully decontaminated. If such nuclear disasters take place in Iran, then the most of the Iranian territories as a country will become non-habitable. The radiation and nuclear pollution will give birth to so many premature Iranian babies, and many Iranians would become ill and die horrifying deaths as a result of the radiation exposure. The nuclear power-plants of the Iranians could crack by the earthquake and other natural disasters in Bushehr where the Nuclear Reactor is located, that will cause the nuclear waste to spill and entre the Persian Gulf, then into the Arabian Sea and then into the Indian Ocean, and soon will reach China and our sea shores in the West.
When Bruno Kreisky was Chancellor of Austria during 1970s, the Austrian youths’ movements, students and environmentalist groups managed to stop his government from building the Nuclear Power-plants in Austria. The youths, students and environmentalists activists in Austria pressured Kreisky to hold a referendum in 1978 on the start-up of a nuclear power-plant at Zwentendorf. The referendum resulted in Bruno Kreisky losing his side of the argument and nuclear power plant wasn't built. The Iranian youths, students and those Iranians who care for the environment and have compassion for their people, country and its nature could learn from the Austrian youths, students and environmentalists activists. What the Austrians did and how they achieved protecting their country through peaceful means and protests is something to at least look into.
It is a tragedy that such a historically rich and educated nation as the Iranians have been played into the hands of the Iranian regime’s propaganda machine.
It is a tragedy that the Iranian regime has so masterfully managed to convince the Iranians inside and outside Iran, under the pretence of “having the right to nuclear capability as the Iranians' national pride”, to progress in its nuclear developments and ambitions in such a dangerous speed without allowing the international community to inspect the Iran’s nuclear facilities, to make sure whether or not such nuclear facilities' structure in Iran are that of solid and reasonable ones.
The Iranians and Iran are able to generate electricity for themselves and the entire region using natural gas burning facilities for at least the next six hundred years. The Iranians could stop the possible disasters and tragedies that Nuclear Reactors could bring forth to their country and its nature.
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