Iran’s Bomb and Pakistan

Published: January 15, 2012

The writer currently teaches physics and political science at LUMS (Lahore). He taught at Quaid-i-Azam University for 36 years and was head of the physics department. He received a doctorate in nuclear physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The waters of the Persian Gulf heated up sharply after Iran’s announcement last week that it is creating additional uranium enrichment facilities under a mountain, safe from airstrikes. Iran already has tens of thousands of centrifuges hidden deep underground in Natanz, and numerous other nuclear facilities around the country.

Iran has stood at the threshold to the Bomb for well over two years. In 2010 it had more than enough low enriched uranium (LEU, some 2,152 kilograms) to make its first bomb’s worth of weapons-grade uranium. Enhancement to the required quality could have been done in roughly 10 weeks if this LEU had been fed into the 4,186 centrifuges that it was then operating. But Iran furiously rejects allegations that it seeks the Bomb. It says the LEU is only for generating nuclear electricity.

America has probably guessed Iran’s intentions correctly. Why would Iran, a major exporter of gas and oil — but with very limited natural uranium resources — be willing to put its life on the line simply for the sake of nuclear electricity? During this American election year, things could boil over. Presidential aspirants are competing to out-macho one another over fighting a new war with Iran. President Obama, who retreated from his earlier promise for a Palestinian state, may now bow again before America’s pro-Israel lobby. He has announced new financial and commercial sanctions on companies dealing with Iran. The EU will decide this month whether to cooperate with the US and ban Iran’s oil exports.

But America’s moral position — and the tactics it uses to dissuade Iran — are morally indefensible. The US has given the green light to Israel’s campaign of secret assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists, injection of the Stuxnet virus, and periodically threatens to bomb Iran. While Iran has not attacked any other country in centuries, the United States overthrew Iran’s democracy in 1953 and installed a dictator who ensured that American corporations would have a near monopoly over Iranian oil. It supplied weapons to Saddam Hussain in his war against Iran, put Iran on the “axis of evil”, falsely blamed it for 9/11, flies drones over Iran, imposed sanctions, and provocatively sends its aircraft carriers up and down the Persian Gulf.

In my opinion, Iran’s quest for the bomb does it — and the world — no service. The world needs less nukes, not more. Yet, given the regime’s obstinate insistence, there appear to be only two possible outcomes. Continuing on its present path, Iran will likely become the world’s 10th nuclear state over the next few years. Bad as this would be, it would not be terrible. In all likelihood Iran would then moderate its dangerous rhetoric and, like other existing global nuclear rivalries, this one too could be managed.

On the other hand, an Israeli attack — whether aided or not by the US — would be truly terrible. The Middle East would become a permanent war zone. The third Gulf War would surely devastate Iran. But today it is in a position to inflict much greater damage on the US than were Iraq or Libya. The US would plunge into an economic crisis the likes of which it has not seen before. The last bits of its post-withdrawal strategy from Afghanistan would be shredded to pieces.

What about Pakistan? Where does it picture in a conflict shaping across its borders? In a country that is more anti-American than Iran, one would have expected overwhelming public and government support for Iran.

But Pakistan’s enthusiasm for Iran’s bomb has been subdued. The local media — which happily takes up anti-American causes — has been remarkably silent. Officially, Pakistan defends Iran’s right to nuclear technology. Further, as Iran acknowledges, Pakistan had secretly helped Iran’s nuclear weapon programme until the mid-1990s through the A Q Khan network. But, even at that time, voices within the Pakistani establishment spoke against giving nuclear support to Iran. US pressure was partly the reason but so was the discomfort with Iran, a Shi’ite state.

These suspicions were confirmed by confidential American cables revealed by Wikileaks. They detail Pakistan’s efforts to dissuade Iran from pursuing its weapons program. General Pervez Musharraf, prime minister Shaukat Aziz and foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri held at least seven meetings, whether face-to-face or by telephone, with the Iranians. There were 11 meetings with the Americans in 2006 alone. Pakistani officials also served as interlocutors between Iran and the US. Mr Kasuri provided a list of other reasons why Pakistan was so keen to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. “We are the only Muslim country [with such weapons],” he said, ‘“and don’t want anyone else to get it.”

Pakistan’s real dilemma comes not primarily because of America — with which it is now rapidly cutting off ties — but Saudi Arabia. It knows that if Iran chooses to cross the nuclear threshold, the Saudis would seek to follow suit. Pakistan would then have to choose sides between a Shia neighbour and a Sunni state that has been its benefactor. Former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki bin Sultan was on the mark when, speaking about Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, he said “It’s probably one of the closest relationships in the world between any two countries”. The Saudi opposition to Iranian nuclear weapons is intense. Again, thanks to WikLleaks, it is now well known that that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia had repeatedly urged the US to destroy Iran’s nuclear program and “cut off the head of the snake” by launching military strikes. Last June, the influential former head of Saudi intelligence and ambassador in London and Washington, Prince Turki bin Faisal, spoke to an audience from the British and American military and security community at Molesworth air force base in England where he described “Iran as a paper tiger with steel claws”. He accused Iran of using these claws for its “meddling and destabilising efforts in countries with Shi’ite majorities”. After saying that “in a certain sense, Saudi Arabia and Iran are uniquely positioned to be at odds”, Faisal went on to warn that his country could embark on the path to nuclear weapons if Iran made them.

So what happens if Iran goes nuclear and Saudi Arabia wants to follow? What could be the Saudi path and what role is Pakistan likely to play? This shall be taken up next week.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 16th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (45)

  • realist
    Jan 15, 2012 - 11:59PM

    “So what happens if Iran goes nuclear and Saudi Arabia wants to follow?”
    -Pakistan then can no longer claim to be the only islamic nuclear power!

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  • the writer looks like a desi Bill Gates

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  • Jan 16, 2012 - 12:14AM

    President Asif Ali zardari in an interview with a Pakistani journalist said that we dont want Pakistan to become part of any theater, he indicated that a war game is being planned against Iran and we want to keep Pakistan out of that mess, lets see if Iranians succeed or we paksitani’s get ourselves engaged in another war Just like Afghan War Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jan 16, 2012 - 12:31AM

    Guys, dont be so ignorant, Iran has helped Pakistan in so many occasions, they were the first to recognize us during our independence, and to give us aid when we needed it!

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Jan 16, 2012 - 1:02AM

    The survival of Ayatullah are on one last thing and its a nuc other wise they will collapesed in
    days.

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  • Majid
    Jan 16, 2012 - 1:17AM

    Dr. sahab, don’t know why, but I found a touch of sympathy in your writing for Iran’s nuclear bomb. Wondering how pleasant we had felt about you if you had shown the same sympathy for your own county – Pakistan’s nuclear bomb!

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  • It's (still) the economy, stupid
    Jan 16, 2012 - 1:56AM

    This is not a well researched article. The truth is: “Saudi Arabia is working secretly on a nuclear program, with help from Pakistani experts”, the German magazine Cicero reported in 2006. During the Haj pilgrimages to Mecca in 2003 through 2005, Pakistani scientists posed as pilgrims to come to Saudi Arabia. Between October 2004 and January 2005, some of them slipped off from pilgrimages, sometimes for up to three weeks, satellite images indicate that Saudi Arabia has set up a program in Al-Sulaiyil, south of Riyadh, a secret underground city and dozens of underground silos for missiles.

    According to some Western security services, long-range Ghauri-type missiles of Pakistani-origin are housed inside the silos.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Jan 16, 2012 - 1:57AM

    I will prefered iran shias over israel..

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  • Jan 16, 2012 - 1:58AM

    So basically Pakistan is trapped by Saudi’s, and I guess our own and Iran’s to a lesser extent, hateful bigoted sectarianism in regards to formulating something as crucial as foreign nuclear policy.

    Terrific…../sarc

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  • Arslan Cheema
    Jan 16, 2012 - 1:59AM

    I think Iran have every right to make the nuclear bomb. And Pakistan should clearly show support to a country which is Islamic and can be part of a bigger plans in coming years. US should be kicked out of this region. There will be no peace where US is. US defeated by Vietnamese and fought a war in the name WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION in Iraq and are beaten heavily in Afghanistan and still is. US also playing dirty games in Pakistan. US is only good in HOLLYWOOD Movies
    I think its time for Sincere Pak Army Officers to understand all this and stand up against US and clearly say enough is enough. Kick Out US and its Aid. Thats the Voice of Nation

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  • diosdado z. sasil
    Jan 16, 2012 - 2:12AM

    very striking scenarios: given that iran and saudi arabia will have nuclear bomb along with pakistan then in tne ensuing rivalry for economic and political clout they would be at its others throat. OR, they would coalesce into one united islamic nuclear power that wuld become an umbrella for the worlds islamic states to counterbalance against the western power and influece. so the future for this world and its society is very lively indeed. wow, the light at the end of a tunnel!!! for humanity that cannot make sense out of all the mesh that it has created in the stream of time of existence…..

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  • John B
    Jan 16, 2012 - 2:28AM

    The bomb in twenty first century is terrorist weapon and in the volatility of middle east there is no prediction where it will end up. When the world is trying to move beyond the bomb, anyone who intend on developing them has only one goal. The threat of use and the possibility of its use by renegades when the chaos ensues.

    Iran is only a brink away from domestic revolution for better government but one may never know what it would create. The long brewing Sunni and Shia conflict will take over when there is a second Iranian revolution.

    Pak which has no old blood feud will be obligated to choose sides and the Saudi pressure will make them side with Shia which will further fuel the domestic sectarianism.

    In pak perspective, siding with Saudi will save them from the wrath of US in US-Iran conflict. However, prior to any such conflict, PAK will be boxed by US to avoid PAK being the third wheel in their covert Iranian support, whether it is bomb support, base or asset support.

    Doom if you do and doom if you dont will be PAK options.

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  • Khurram
    Jan 16, 2012 - 3:54AM

    Dr. Hoodbhoy Saheb, your insightful article has presented the Doomsday Scenario. It also reminds me the prophetic words of Dr.J Robert Oppenheimer uttered on July 16 1945 after the test of the first Atomic Bomb, ” I am become death the destroyer of the worlds”. I do not wish to sound pessimistic but the truth is that the end of the world as we know it is quite near when the living would envy the dead.

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  • jahanzeb
    Jan 16, 2012 - 4:03AM

    Waiting to read more from one of the true sons of the soil…

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  • Taji
    Jan 16, 2012 - 4:20AM

    I find the article very objective. The regime in Iran sees how Iraq, and Libya were brought down. It’s natural for a heavily sanctioned country to seek security in nuclear weapons. A good example is North Korea. I doubt that Saudis will be ‘able’ to go Nuclear if Iran does cross the threshold. The Americans will come in and will provide the Saudis and its Gulf allies the same sort of nuclear umbrella, which it provides to Japan and South Korea. I think the objective of the tough rhetoric coming from Saudis, and others in the Gulf (and Israelis) is to convince the Americans to destroy the Iranian nuclear facilities. A very dangerous brinkmanship is being demonstrated by both the Iranians and its foes in the Gulf. Let’s hope that an amicable solution will be found, which will be face saving for the parties involved.

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  • Pure
    Jan 16, 2012 - 4:37AM

    We hate America and Israel so much that we are happy to see another nuclear power as our neighbour. There is no time for hard headed strategy – but all the time for senseless emotions. All too satisfied to see another “brother” Muslim country get the bomb. This will invite pressure on us from the Saudis to share nuclear technology. But we rather be more Muslim than anyone else asked us to be. This makes further mockery of our misguided afghan policy. Now with a nuclear Iran, how exactly do we want to control Kabul entirely to our liking? Weren’t we supposed to hide our strategic assets there to fight the marauding Indians? I am sure Iranians will allow us to park nukes close to their border.

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  • Cautious
    Jan 16, 2012 - 4:57AM

    When Iran gets the bomb they will be as safe and secure as Pakistan — maybe they should reconsider?

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  • SMJ
    Jan 16, 2012 - 6:11AM

    Mr Hoodbhoy: You have represented the facts well.

    But as a scientist, you should also stress the fact that in today’s world nuclear technology is a genie of the bottle just like television, mobiles, satellites and so on. It is an old technology which is now much easier to master in the third world than it was fifty years ago. I do not think that countries seeking strong defenses would ever be dissuaded from pursuing now an increasingly common nuclear technology unless the likes of the US, Israel and some other European states make a collective decision to wrap up their nukes which are in thousands by their own admission and admittedly not for producing electricity. If not, then this will not stop with Iran as you have rightly stated and no one will dismantle its nukes. South Africa is the only country that has dismantled its nukes but it was purely a political decision. The white domination was coming to an end and F W De Clerk, the then SA President, decided that the nukes won’t be safe under the future black regimes so he ordered the dismantling. Btw, Saudis have already started working on their own nuclear program and it has been going on for the past four years when the Iranian nuclear crisis first came to fore.

    Another point that you should expound as a man of scientific background is that the line between a peaceful nuclear technology and the weapon one is very thin. Both involve the same procedures and require the same equipment to a large extent. At least that’s what my own readings suggest but please correct me if I am wrong. If that is the case then how do you know if one’s building nukes or has peaceful intentions? It’s a grey area and we as students of international relations would want to be enlightened with your technical knowledge on the subject. But thank you for broaching this subject which is becoming increasingly important for the world security and particularly the security of the region.

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  • Jan 16, 2012 - 6:28AM

    @Ali Tanoli:

    I will prefered iran shias over israel..

    Don’t think Iran will be too overjoyed that you find them at least more ‘tolerable’ than the usual demonized Israel based on religious or sectarian affinity.

    Unfortunately Saudi Arabia doesn’t feel the same, who would rather prefer Israel and US to bomb Iran.

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  • C. Nandkishore
    Jan 16, 2012 - 6:57AM

    Clearly it is a Shia bomb in reply to Pakistan Sunni bomb. Israel is just 60 years old and US 230 years old. But Shia Sunni rivalry is a thousand year old rivalry/enmity. If Iran makes the bomb the worst affected will be Pakistan. Because of its already sectarian difficulties. Its nuclear strategy will have two fronts. This requires money. Pakistan has no source like oil. Its economy will collapse. Or it becomes a vassal state of Saudi. Funny. 180 million Pakistanis in service of 15 million Saudis. O my God. What a fall. In 1947 Pakistan had, among all the Muslim countries, the maximum doctors, engineers, lawyers, educationists, etc. Observe the mindset: Should we follow Saudi, Iran or Turkey? With 180 million and a nuclear power it should have been the ‘Caliphate’.

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  • Arun
    Jan 16, 2012 - 7:20AM

    As usual a cerebral article from Dr Hoodbhoy which has a lot to think about. The human race is preparing to outdo all possible natural causes that can end human race….

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  • Saad
    Jan 16, 2012 - 7:46AM

    There are two options for Pakistan, either to stay neutral and stay out of this mess, or to come under someones pressure and make more and more enemies, which we do not need, because it doesn’t matter who we support, we will always be ridiculed by both sides, that has been our experience in this “war on terror”, so its upto what we want!

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  • adeel759
    Jan 16, 2012 - 8:09AM

    Since Dr Sahib is to discuss that if Iran goes Nuclear, what role can Pakistan play for Pak-Iran-Saudi, bermuda triangle. If Iran goes Nuclear, I believe, for Pakistan it would be like trading season. Pakistan’s Bums, as they are known today could find their worth as real Bombs and fetch a good monetary injection for crippling Pakistani economy. Saudis would be willing to sell their souls to go Nuclear vs Iran. On other hand, I agree with Khurshid Kasuri sahib, it should be only us, the Pakistanis, among all muslim countries to have Bums. Waiting for Dr Sahib’s insight…

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  • Baqar
    Jan 16, 2012 - 11:50AM

    @Nandkishore
    This is foreign policy not bollywood….if we consider the case you are tring to portray its surprising to note the devilish comfort you get when something negative comes up for Pakistan. For us the bright side is we take note of our problems and dont push it the carpet in the name of “Shining India”.Recommend

  • Jan 16, 2012 - 12:06PM

    I hope sanity will prevail and we won’t go into supporting either. we might have very close ties with KSA but Iran is just next door neighbor and shares a culture and history with us. I hope we never go insane to have even Iran in our enemy list. Good to involve Iran into some sorts of talk where we might prevent them from going for the disastrous monster.

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  • Ahad
    Jan 16, 2012 - 12:16PM

    I support Nuclear Iran

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  • kashi
    Jan 16, 2012 - 12:54PM

    it will be a disaster whether Pakistan take side of Saudi Arab or Iran, and in both situations the USA and Israel will be benefited.

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  • Mani_Uetian
    Jan 16, 2012 - 1:14PM

    Now Pakistan should review his foreign policy about Iran and Saudia Arabia, Pakistan should not be the part of Saudia’s conflict with Iran. If Pakistan can play the role of any mediator b/w Saudia and Iran and bring down the temperature that’s is the best option. Pakistan should be neutral in this case.

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  • Javed
    Jan 16, 2012 - 2:31PM

    Giving Iran the nuclear know-how will prove to be a curse for Pakistan. I for one do not support Iranian regimes pursuit of nukes. As you said, we need less of them. Not more. LESS!

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  • Vijay
    Jan 16, 2012 - 5:02PM

    Khurram wrote “It also reminds me the prophetic words of Dr.J Robert Oppenheimer uttered on July 16 1945 after the test of the first Atomic Bomb, ” I am become death the destroyer of the worlds”.”

    Prophetic indeed ! Oppenheimer was quoting Krishna from the Bhagvad Gita.

    “When the light of a thousand suns combine, I become death, the destroyer of worlds”

    Watch him say it here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuRvBoLu4t0

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  • Jan 16, 2012 - 7:10PM

    When Iran becomes a nuclear power, Pakistan will be the only power in the World with 3 nuclear neighbours. 75% of its borders will have a nuclear power as its guardian!

    India will gain from Iran being a nuclear power. The power and projection of power of Pakistan will be greatly reduced. India has had good relations with Iran, when we notice that Iran is the gateway through which India gets an entry into Afghanistan.

    The influence of India is multiply several times, along with Iran in Afghanistan. Remember, Iran is an anti-Taliban, pro-Northern Alliance state, just like India. Iran will definitely like to throw its weight around when it gets the bomb, especially in Afghanistan. This is have a direct bearing upon Pakistani influence in Afghanistan.

    Pakistan will cease be the sole Muslim power with a nuke. Iran will then be more powerful than Pakistan, simply because of abundant Oil resources. Oil translates to money, which Pakistan doesn’t have, nor will ever have.

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  • Abbas from the US
    Jan 16, 2012 - 7:19PM

    @Majid:

    Dr Hoodbhoy the eternal pacifist makes it clear in his article he writes”emphasized textIn my opinion, Iran’s quest for the bomb does it — and the world — no service. The world needs less nukes, not more.” But if your own view is thru is the same lens as that of the Saudi rulers lens, than you would probably see the article as questioning the provocation that the US appears to be engaging in, at the behest of Israel’s right to political hegemony as well as military dominance that Israel curently enjoys in the Middle East.
    Having lived in Iran before the Iranian revolution, and being opposed to the Iranian clergy’s right to rule in the name of the Vilayet e Faqih, my only concern is acquiring the bomb consolidates and perpetuates this rule and furthermore increases the duration before this government of the Ayatullahs can be replaced by a truly democratic one.
    But as far as the machinations of the Israelis, including their manipulation of the American Jewish people to act sometimes in contradiction to the interests of the country of their citizenship, this battle really is one between Israel and Iran for supremecy in regional dominance, and the truth is Saudi Arabian rulers with all its resource wealth are a bit player, and have chosen to be allied to Israel to contain their Shiite enemy.
    But one would have to remmember their are political voices within Pakistan that favor following the Saudi line of a rapprochment with Israel, as Musharaf’s interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz last week is indicative of.

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  • Saad
    Jan 16, 2012 - 7:26PM

    @BruteForce: you do not make any sense at all

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  • Jack
    Jan 16, 2012 - 7:40PM

    Although sanity speaks against an increase of nuclear powers in this volatile region, one feels empathy for the Iranian cause. As Dr. Hoodbhoy puts it, this is a nation which has never invaded another (and has no documented pursuit of strategic depth to the detriment of other sovereign nations), lives in a hostile neighborhood (even the friendly neighbors are increasingly unstable) and is yet portrayed as part of an imaginary axis of evil and discriminated against for years. The Iranians are a proud people and have responded in kind with open threats against Israel, but probably more hot air than not. I see the nuclear option as a significant strategic deterrent for Iran, against bullying by the US and possible brinkmanship from Israel. I find Pakistan’s plight far more interesting – a nation that has always basked in the glory of its supposed geo-strategic location suddenly finds the temperature too hot for its liking! I am sure that the Saudi’s have already co-opted their B team into helping them out.

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  • Optimist
    Jan 16, 2012 - 7:42PM

    Everyone who has made nuclear bombs (not energy) is a fool and if Iran wants to waste its resources, they can do what they like!!!

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  • Optimist
    Jan 16, 2012 - 7:43PM

    If US can lose from Vietnam (non nuclear) and if Russia can still be defeated with 4000 nuclear assets, these bombs are waste of time, money, efforts, resources!!!!
    .
    The sooner we get out of this race the better!

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  • Aamer Khawaja
    Jan 16, 2012 - 8:42PM

    “Iran, a major exporter of gas and oil — but with very limited natural uranium resources — be willing to put its life on the line simply for the sake of nuclear electricity?”

    Well being a PhD you weren’t able to figure out that oil & gas reserves will deplete in the coming decades- probably within the life of this generation. Thus the search for nuclear fuel

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  • Abbas from the US
    Jan 16, 2012 - 9:35PM

    @Aamer Khawaja:

    When I was in Iran more than three decades ago, the Shah and his government were seeking nuclear power with the narrative that Iran expected its oil to be depleted within the thirty years at the rate of the Iranian oil production for exports at 4.5 million barrels a dayand it was the second largest producer of oil after Saudi Arabia. And for the very same reason the Iranians were looking for alternate sources of energy. The current Nuclear power plant in Bushehr was originally contracted from Germany but with the breakdown in relations with the West it was finally put in operation by the Russians last year.
    The Cost of production for electricity for Nuclear power is not cheap for a country that has realized the potential of its vast gas reserves since then (possibly the second largest in the world).
    Since the Islamic revolution, Iran’s oil production has slipped to about 2.5 million barrels a day, now some of it may be predicated for use of oil for future generations, and some of the reason can be attributed to the ineffeciancy that is associated with the restrictions that have been put inot place for Iran’s access to new technolgy in oil production.
    But with the possiblity of exporting natural gas it does not sound right that Iran actually needs to invest in Nuclear power plants

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  • Mujtaba Shah
    Jan 16, 2012 - 9:39PM

    Iran isn’t building a nuclear weapons program. Mr Hoodbhoy has just ruined his credibility. To point out many of the fallacies in this article, Iran has proved to the IAEA with a record amount of cooperation that it is not building a nuclear weapons programme. And ostensibly the IAEA has on numerous occasions testified to the fact that “there has been no diverging of Iranian nuclear activities”. However, the very recent report by the IAEA, allegedly stating Iran undertook tests that may point out to a development of a nuclear device, was politcally motivated, and the former Director Generals of IAEA have reitereated that the organisations work have been lobbied to take a biased approach to Irans nuclear development programs. Besides these facts, Iran has been at the forefront in calling for a total ban on nuclear weapons in the middle east. The Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini has even issued a fatwa (ruling) declaring nuclear weapons to be unlawful/haram, and the the military officials have declared that nuclear weapons have no place in Iran’s defence doctrine.
    President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad has stated that “anyone who calls for nuclear weapons are politically retarded”, and all the military analysts agree.
    If anyone should know anything about nuclear energy, it is that its the most abundant energy available to humanity in this planet right now, which has the proven ability to secure the enegy needs of a nation for thousands of years, literally.
    Now, anyone who takes a sane outlook regarding the run up to the tensions against Iran and their nuclear program, will realise that this is nothing but sheer propaganda that is very similar to the run up to the war on Iraq.
    I just can’t fathom what made Mr Hoodhbhoy write this, I could agree with his musings on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, but this did not make any sense whatsoever.

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  • Truth Seeker
    Jan 17, 2012 - 12:34AM

    @John B:

    USA+Israel+West WINS, Pakistan+KSA+Iran LOSES

    Pakistan sides with Iran = Loses Saudi friends + BIG trouble with USA+west as well as internal sectarian tensions.
    Pakistan sides with KSA = Another permanent enemy on border as if India and Afghanistan were not enough + internal sectarian tensions, though USA+Israel+West may be happy for the short time.
    Pakistan stays Neutral = Iran loses – now the circle against Pakistan is complete – guess who is the next stop.

    Pakistan+KSA+Iran WINS, USA+Israel+West Neutralized

    Pakistan must mediate solace between KSA and Iran by
    1. Convincing Iran to keeps its nuclear program to energy only, and save Pakistan’s nuclear assets from UsA+Israel+West.
    2. Or, help KSA to match Iran’s nuclear threat perception – after all 3 Muslim nuclear states are definitely better than none.Recommend

  • Cynical
    Jan 17, 2012 - 2:15AM

    Iran, a shia country and Pakistan a sunni, both having nuclear bombs.It’s as good as it can get.What is the problem? Ultimately it’s the triumph of Islam that we should celebrate.

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  • Bipul Rajput
    Jan 17, 2012 - 7:09AM

    @Jack: ” … As Dr. Hoodbhoy puts it, this is a nation which has never invaded another …. “

    Nadir Shah ransacked India … did he not ?

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  • lil' john
    Jan 17, 2012 - 7:26PM

    Iran is uncomfortable with Islamic character which is fundamentally inconsistent with its Aryan genes and personality. Iran is a primary civilization and Iranian are aware of how they were converted and their cultural and religious text destroyed by the Arabs and their culture usurped by them as “Islamic” culture. That is why Iran will never get along with the Arabs. The moment the current theocracy ends, Iran will revert to its original native religion (Zoroastrianism) and culture. Expect that to happen to Turkey too.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Jan 18, 2012 - 1:42AM

    @lil john
    The same gonna happend to south america too right they were converted by spainish and others they should go back to there oregin Maya, Inga and machu pichu culture.

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  • karim
    Jan 21, 2012 - 4:55PM

    @C. Nandkishore:
    good try, but no. I also prefer a nuclear Iran to Israel. Iran is sure to become a nuclear power unless a total invasion (now impossible).

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