Why Now?
Saturday, January 28, 2006
  Persian Nukes
We really should do something about this. Maybe we could dig up Eisenhower and burn his bones for convincing the Shah to start a nuclear program as part of Atoms For Peace project in the 1950s. Oh, I'm sorry, you probably didn't know that this has been going on for almost 50 years.

So, I guess you don't know about the British and Soviet armies getting annoyed at Reza Shah for objecting to their troop movements across Iran during World War II? Since Iran was officially neutral Reza Shah didn't think it was right, but the Allies booted him out and replaced him with his son, Mohammed Shah, who didn't see a problem.

No one has probably ever mentioned the little problem in 1953 with the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh, getting uppity and insisting that the Iranian oil fields belonged to the Iranian people? That required MI6 and the CIA arranging Operation Ajax to remove Mr. Mossadegh, making the Shah an absolute monarch, because you just can't trust voters.

It was Mohammed Shah, the last Shah, who decided that Iran should used nuclear power and maximize oil exports, the only real source of hard currency for Iran. This was, of course, after US corporations like General Electric and Westinghouse explained the costs and benefits of nuclear power from plants they would be happy to build.

Let's have a reality check: like religious fundamentalists everywhere the Iranians clerics don't believe in birth control; the population of Iran is growing rapidly; more people means more electrical demand; the oil is the Iranian economy; all oil used internally is lost profits; the oil won't last forever.

Knowing what happens when they and other oil producing nations decide to boycott, Iran wants to control as much of the process as possible. They know how they would deal with people who are dependent on their oil, so they don't want to be put in the same position.

Just because you are a paranoid, religious nutjob, doesn't mean no one is out to get you, especially when "some people" call you a member of "the axis of evil" and others threaten to bomb you. These people, like Castro and Kim Il Jong, need external threats to retain their grip on their people, and it always seems like there is some idiot willing to oblige.

Iran is a problem because it has some seriously whacked people in its leadership. When external powers threaten Iran the moderates lose ground. If the Iranian moderates had suggested making progress towards improving relations with the US, they would probably be called "unpatriotic", "un-Iranian", "French", and "surrender monkeys".

If "some people" would just STFU and allow things to happen in the background, some of these problems might just be resolved, but with all of the threats being tossed about, I don't have much hope.


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