Who Should be Allowed To Possess Nuclear Technology?

Posted by Frederick Jones
September 27, 2007

In 1968, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was created to prevent the further proliferation of nuclear weapons, as well as promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and express the intention of NPT signatories to achieve disarmament. Nonetheless, questions exist as to why the international community approves of some nations possessing nuclear materials and not others.

"What should determine who should be allowed to possess nuclear technology and who should not?"

Comments

Comments

Martin
|
Argentina
September 27, 2007

Martin in Argentina writes:
I think NOBODY can't get nuclear technology, the world is small and all of us are in there!

By the way, the ONLY country in the world who used those weapons was the U.S. against civil people in Japan... How many people must be die to stop this crazy thingh someday?? The world is dying and still we think in kill more people, animals and other lives souls??

I think STOP!

To all, please remember, "Iraq" that country was assaulted and devastated because "they have nuclear weapons", then ALL we know that argument was false... Is George Bush in jail? No, many is many, so sad, so simple! I wondered, How a country like USA who used nuclear weapons over many and many Janpanese people it can accuse to another country saying to another country, "Don't get killer weapons"? USA is the country who spend more money in weapons all over the world.. that is a fact!

Love and peace!

basyl
|
Romania
September 27, 2007

Basyl in Romania writes:
Only Nuclear energy is a good thing that helps and will continue to help humanity. When we are talking about the weapons, I think that this may be one of the greatest mistakes ever made in the humanity`s evolution. Why can`t you all just give them up ? Try to think at other things like healts emproving... try to make other countries better, try to help both sides if you see that there are almoast at war.

And something that you will like for sure, Iran should not have nuclear weapon technology, they must be stopped.
Have a great day.

Han J.
|
China
September 27, 2007

Han and Jing in China write:
No country should be allowed to possess nuclear technology. This technology is like a bomb that has not exploded yet. Someday, it will explode, and the history of human beings may meet its end. We should develope technologies that are more harmless, such as technology of using solar power and wind power, etc.

JD
|
Ireland
September 27, 2007

JD in Ireland writes:
Russia was U.S. arch-nemesis (scarecrow) a few decades ago...
They had quite a few nukes... And almost nothing happened.
It is a deterrent that kept both sides in check.
Many countries are seeking it to protect themselves.
It is the bright colors on snakes that says, you'd better leave me alone.
You cannot go around the world and say "Do as we say, not as we do".
To the question: "What should determine who should be allowed to possess nuclear technology and who should not?" I will answer with another question: "What should determine who should be allowed to police the world?"

Louis
|
Spain
September 27, 2007

Louis in Spain writes:
Please, your hearts, my heart, our hearts always claim for peace. Tell me, tell us; which developed countries are interested to do a viable plans and programs to consolidate a real peace? And more, which developed countries respect the others rights to do their own business? Everybody talks about human rights, about this and about that, and who cares for me?, who cares for those without rights? Today we are enjoying the life, the time is not yet over ,we must do something to convince the powerful countries ,even with tears on our cheeks, to give us an example of brotherhood, only an example, and this miracle must happen; otherwise our planet will become a jungle where the powerful prevails and the weak will die under the luxurious boots of the king. Please, give us only one example of a generous country and we will follow your example. If I am the one working with nuclear technology, I will carry on with it until you come up with wonderful things for the entire human being, if that day happens I will take you into my factories to tell me what to do with it, as a son to his father. For now don't tell me what to do with nuclear matters or other matters, because you must convince me, convince us that you have the moral to tell us what to do.

Boyan Y.
|
Bulgaria
September 27, 2007

Boyan in Bulgaria writes:
All countries should be allowed to use nuclear energy to ensure their energy independence. More nuclear power plants mean independence from oil, coil and gas power plants and less green-house gases.

Of course there should be control over those who use it as weapons. In that line of thoughts the countries who are known to have used it in the past should be forbidden to have it. Currently that is only the U.S.

It is widely discussed that radical muslims may create nukes. Although somewhat reasonable, that is only speculation at this point. What I am more concerned about, is that the U.S. is still using radioactive materials in their weapons. Even more concerning is that you are using you weapons quite a lot lately, but that is another issue.

I am sure that currently the ordinary people all over the world are more worried about the radical christians in your government that the radical muslims next door. You just have more guns and more hate - it is as clear as that.

Think about that next time you ask why everyone hates America.

Marlene
|
California, USA
September 27, 2007

Marlene in California writes:
The first thing the United States needs to do is to get out of the United Nations, and kick them out of New York. Then, we need to "walk softly and carry a big stick", as Theodore Roosevelt said. I really could care less that other countries hate the United States. They are not required to love us, but just to respect us, and not mess with us. Anyone that believes countries made up of Muslims can be trusted with Nuclear Power, is just plain nuts. The only mistake Bush made was not to go ahead and bomb Iran and the other Muslim strongholds after we took Iraq.

Marlene
|
California, USA
September 27, 2007

Marlene in California writes:
I could care less that other Countries hate the U.S. I notice, that in spite of "hating us", they all flock here for us to support them. We need to withdraw from the UN, and kick them out of New York. Just read your Bible to see what a hazard a "World Government" is.

As for Muslim countries being allowed to have Nuclear power, "Are you people nuts?" Bush only made one mistake when he attacked Iraq. He should have gone on to Iran and the other Muslim Countries and done the same thing. Kill them before they kill us.

diego
|
Chile
September 27, 2007

Diego in Chile writes:
Any government that has the money and the technology, just like your country that can attack poor countries for stealing their oil.

Are you afraid for Iran? You should, and for China also and Korea, etc. You're full of enemies.

A message for all the people in your country: stop calling yourselves "american" I am american and chilean; you are "unitedstaten".

Mariano
|
Uruguay
September 27, 2007

Mariano in Uruguay writes:
First of all, sorry for my English. It is not so good. I think that nuclear energy is the future, because the oil will be finished soon. The wood (and the trees, of course) is very important for the planet's life. But, not all people are responsible with something so dangerous. By that I mean, only countries under ONU controls may to use nuclear energy. If this powerful energy is obtained by terrorists or fundamentalists, the world will be over. Regards from Uruguay

Shaw
|
China
September 27, 2007

Shaw in Sino writes:

Who Should be Allowed To Possess Nuclear Technology?
---------------------------
LOL. Can't you guys still get the true answers? It is determined by the U.S. goverment!!

American is the first one open the nuclear evil box, and find out a truth that it not just destroy his opponents, but also the whole human-being including himself. But now it's too late.

Why do other countries strongly want to get this evil weapon? The main reason is they're afraid of being threathen by other nuclear country, so let's come back to the beginning, who is the first of nuclear holder and user?

To forbid other countries holding weapon is just like forbidding american holding gun, think about it~!!!

Fletcher
|
Minnesota, USA
September 27, 2007

Fletcher in Minnesota writes:
With regard to nuclear power, I think that any government that will guarantee full transparency of its nuclear program and unquestioned review of said program by qualified international observation teams should be allowed to develop or possess nuclear power. Unfortunately, even if only because of pride, many nations seem unwilling to agree to this. (I think existing nuclear powers should also be willing to meet this test.)

With regard to nuclear weaponry, since it's much more difficult to develop than nuclear power, I consider proliferation to be a larger threat than raw development. I think it's easy for us to agree that no nation which is incapable of making nuclear weapons for itself should be allowed to possess them.

The million dollar question is whether we should allow countries to continue developing nuclear weapons technology. I personally support a moratorium on all nuclear weapons production, and this seems to be a generally accepted viewpoint. All recent developments of nuclear weapons have been met with large-scale international disapproval.

Shaw
|
China
September 27, 2007

Shaw in Sino writes:
@ Marlene -- Marlene in California writes:
I could care less that other Countries hate the U.S. I notice, that in spite of "hating us", they all flock here for us to support them. We need to withdraw from the UN, and kick them out of New York. Just read your Bible to see what a hazard a "World Government" is.
----------------------------
Oh yeah? Where is your father or your grandfather from?
Maybe a small country in europe.

OK, like you said you kick the UN out of NY, and consider all the rest world as your enemies, because you want to become the world empire to rule the other countries, so they have to hold together as military allies to protect themselves, and then, I'm afraid that you guys would be kicked out of Earth.

Chris
|
Missouri, USA
September 28, 2007

Chris in Missouri writes:
I really think that this policy that "only the countries with crazies as leaders should be prevented from having nukes" makes very little sense. Say we prevent Iran and N. Korea from grabbing nukes now because they're crazy, while we allow other countries to develop them because their leaders are ok, and then a new leader comes to power who is crazy. He already has nukes! We can't stop it anymore!

It only takes one crazy person with enough nukes one time to wipe out practically all of civilization. Do you all honestly believe that there will never be that one crazy person? We need to get rid of nukes. Through a strong UN and some personal responsibility we can end the nuclear age before it ends us.

Dave
|
Virginia, USA
September 28, 2007

Dave in Virginia writes:
Do you let your young children play with kitchen knives? No? In the same way we must not let nuclear weapons fall into the hands of the immature.

We can't wish away the technology, but we can try to restrict its possession to the "grownups" - beginning with the country that has behaved most responsibly for the past 60 years with the ability to destroy all human life. That would be the United States of America.

Shunt
|
South Africa
September 28, 2007

Shunt in South Africa writes:
Einstein was one of the world's best scientists. When he was small, people didn't think much of him... didn't even think that he would have been as successful as he has been.

If we tell countries like Iran, no to Nuclear technologies. Only because the world lives in fear, thinking that they will be nuked or that it will be used against itself. Then are we not restricting our self from growing? Developing new and better technologies?

If countries like Iran is allowed to use these technologies to better their lives and environment under supervision "at least", who is to say that they might not develop a better way of using Nuclear Technologies to improve power output or even develop new fuel source? by mixing it with a different natural element.

We do not have the right to restrict growing countries from using technologies like this. If the world continues on like this, it might take use twice as long to get where we want to go, with Peace, freedom, better technologies and to end starving countries that is not presented an opportunity to grow.

If we are so afraid and untrusting to each other... we should place people around the word to monitor these countries and our own, that wishes to grow. To give them that chance of growth, with supervision and even assistance. There for can still advance and should have less worries, because we know what is going on, because we trust each other to grow and use it for the right purpose.

If you find one bad apple in an apple tree, do you destroy the tree in fear that the rest will also be bad? or do you dispose of the rotten one's, eat the good ones and search for a new method of protecting your tree from bad apples and continue growing them?

Murat
|
Turkey
September 28, 2007

Murat in Turkey writes:
Every nation should respect others. Seeing America as the only one to be respected by others makes no sense, and is also a very dangerous view. We all see the current catastrophic results of bullying around. I admire the principles that lay behind the foundation of the U.S.-freedom, human rights, democracy, diversity, etc., but Americans should definitely respect the very same rights of other nations, many of whose history goes far beyond than America's. I'm concerned about both rising anti-Americanism in many countries and anti-Islamism in America (and the West, generally). Let all the nations live in piece, interact and communicate with each other peacefully. It's the 21st century we're in, wars should have been left far beyond in history.

Troy
|
Iraq
September 28, 2007

Troy in Iraq writes:
There is an inherent problem with any type of weapon; when one country has one, the next one wants a larger more powerful one. It is the history of the world. History also tells us that too much of a good thing often brings about problems of complacency or lack of ability.

Most countries in the Middle East Region lack sufficient knowledge and/or the proper faculty on both parts to properly manage, maintain or run nuclear programs in either an energy or weapons standpoint.

Iran is one perfect example of this. We know, without a doubt, that the deadly weapons which have the most success killing our troops in Iraq come from Iran. Iran's leaders constantly say they have no knowledge of the transport, trafficking, construction or conveyance of such weapons from their country. That being said, how will they ever have the ability to manage any nuclear materials at all? Obviously, they have no control over what is already leaving their country. It doesn't even matter that they have an irrational hate for all things Western.

I have a question...
If the literacy rate and the educational powers of the Middle East is the consistency of what Iraq's is, who is running the nuclear program in Iran? Or does the leadership of Iran even know its operating?

Robert
|
Arizona, USA
September 28, 2007

Robert in Arizona writes:
I think most stable republics and democracies could qualify to have Nukes. As they would not use them. It's dictatorships/totalitarian and religious fundamental states that have little or no respect for life that need to be prevented from having nukes.

I have no problem with the U.S., U.K., France (barely), or Israel having Nukes. I do have concern about Russia, China and both Pakistan/India having nukes.

I believe that if the Middle Eastern countries who have no problem chanting death to America and Death to Israel need to be stopped - ABSOLUTELY stopped from developing Nukes. If that means military action needs to be taken - so be it. Better to resolve the issue now than to let appeasement run its course. Because we all should know appeasement does not work!

Robert
|
Ohio, USA
September 28, 2007

Robert in Ohio writes:
@Robin in Romania --
"@ Robert - I'm afraid there can't be a compromise in this matter, since, one way or another, civilian nuclear fuel can be turned into military warheads."

Yes, and that is why I said that the fuel should be managed by someone (Russia, U.S., IAEA, etc etc) that already has the technology. Just some outside org with some accountability. Even with as hectic as the situation currently is they are still able to keep track of most fuel. In no way is it perfect, but neither is what we're doing now. At least this way it would stress tracking and accountability of materials instead of just relying on the word of the individual country that might develop the technology. Instead of alienation it would provide inclusion and eliminate some serious double standards.

@everyone who is critical of the U.S. for bombing Japan

Just a quick reminder, Germany and Japan were aggressively researching these capabilities as well. As terrible as it was, they would have done the same to the US in a heartbeat (and did intend to). Clear intent was established as the war waned in research facilities and delivery systems (rockets, planes). There is no question that they would have used them. It was a different time. Like I said before, somebody was going to be first. It was inevitable. Whereas I agree that reflections upon the horror and devastation caused by The bombing are appropriate as a reminder of the suffering that can be a result, I also believe that holding the present day US accountable for those actions as ridiculous as holding present day Germany accountable for the Holocaust. Actions were taken, lessons were learned. Thus is the nature of progress. It is now our responsibility to keep those past experiences in present mind and prevent similar events from occurring.

Finally, I would just like to say that I am happy this board exists. It pleases me to read opinions from people all over this country and the world. I am proud, and find it encouraging, that so many people can voice differing opinions in a peaceful and mature manner.

No, we won't really be solving any world issues here. However it can't be a bad thing to increase worldwide exposure and communication.

So, thanks to everyone for keeping matters civil. I look forward to reading more from everyone.

George
|
Mexico
September 28, 2007

George in Mexico writes:
No one. No body in this planet should to have nuclear weapons or any tecnology bassed in nuclear energy.

Jim W.
|
California, USA
September 28, 2007

Jim in California writes:
Bin Laden and al Qaeda, et al, have us preoccupied in Iraq while they are preparing to attack some of our cities with atomic bombs, before too long.

If we bomb Iran to destroy their nuclear manufacturing operation we will have put ourselves in the position, in the minds of our Enemy, of being owed a bombing, or two.

If, instead, we simply back off and openly warn the major Muslim nations that, should we be bombed, we will accept the bombing as the will of all such nations and will bomb them all, without delay or negotiation and with a fervor that is ten times more vicious than their bombing of us.

We are totally wrong in thinking that we're the savior of the World and that we're going to save it whether or not it wants saved.

Priscila
|
Brazil
September 28, 2007

Prascila in Brazil writes:
@ Brianna -- I agree with Brianna. Why do countries want to develop nuclear technology if nobody really think about that use nuclear weapons? Of course theres a need to keep weapons in order to have respect from others nations - in fact, they do think about use it someday "if it's necessary".

Ronald
|
California, USA
September 28, 2007

Ronald in California writes:
Well, it seems to me that Pandora's box is already opened. The next logical step would be to allow any country to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, but should any government make a nuclear weapon, the world community should come down as hard as possible to eliminate all nuclear weapons and peaceful equipment and the area of that country should become property of the whole for 2 generations and governed by a UN governor.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 29, 2007

EJ in New Mexico writes:
There are many globally who have no voice in these matters of grave import, and I would like first to thank the Dept. of State for having provided a virtual "Village square", by creating this blog.

Folks,

Technology now makes possible the complete separation between peaceful use, and weaponization.

Funny thing about technology....it has consistently outpaced mankind's ability to use it in an ethical manner.
Now it gives us a means of self discipline...now That's progress!

A nuke can be used to keep the peace, regain the peace, or break the peace. So when it is possible to create power generation from fuel that cannot be used to weaponize a nation, I think the intent of a nation may be observed by whether it simply grasps the tool in a nation building capacity or not. And if that capacity alone isn't enough to satisfy its leadership, whether or not it seeks a weaponization capability. IE: Does it seek enrichment capability after having been offered a viable alternative.

Some commenters must think nukes are like I-pods, everybody wants one, Sure, step right up! It's your right, go for it!

Don't believe everything you think.

I speak now as a member of the original nuclear family, granddad being the Metalurgical and Chemistry Division group leader during the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic weapon;

"To you who wish a nuke, be careful what you ask for.

This double edged sword only knows one master- Physics.

We fallable, fragile , bits of sentient organic matter think ourselves omnipitent masters of that we have created, because the subconcious fear we have created in the ability to self exterminate the species is too great a mental burden to think otherwise, and remain sane."

Well, when the going gets insane, the sane get going.

Let me rephrase this to the average joe citizen's perspective: We couldn't live our daily lives in any normal sense of the word if living them in fear of imminent extinction.

Yet "Democracy R US" sayeth the people, and we demand the truth from those who bear the burden of responsibility for the future of mankind, having a vested interest in the matter.

Therein lies a part of the reason why we in America have not built a new nuclear power plant in this country for the past 30 years or so. The people spoke.

The vast amounts of money required to establish an industry has a way of blinding ethical standards and that my friends is too, part of the human condition.

Now my President has decided that we may indeed be able to build safe nuclear power plants in the US, and I'm willing to give American industry the chance to prove they can. And for the most part, I think after hard lessons, they have to a fair degree.

But just as with protecting any nation from terrorist attack, One mistake...the outcome is unacceptable.

I wish to leave you with a Koan in solidarity with all who seek freedom from fear, and have no voice in the matter. I hope it will speak well for them.

"When Battleships give way to Sailboats, how does the world realize its true self?"

In Buddhist training, a student is given a Koan, a question to meditate on and learn understanding of the source of all things, life being dualistic in nature, this is the essential struggle for enlightenment.

The above is such a Koan, or "life question".

Sometimes a conscious mind can construct great changes, with a single question, asked at the right moment, to the right people. But words are all too often giving way to the sword, silenced in utterance, and stilled with overwhelming force.

Words of good will, with hope for the future.

Les
|
Minnesota, USA
September 29, 2007

Les in Minnesota writes:
The question is "What should determine who should be allowed to possess nuclear technology and who should not?" I suggest that Iran has the right to develop nuclear power and fuel technology.

Currently, China, EU, Japan, Russia and the U.S. are actively planning, developing, licensing, and building new nuclear power plants.

There are two types of reactor technology: slow and fast.

Slow reactors create power but generate a large quantity of low to medium level radioactive waste with a half life of hundreds of thousands of years and requires extremely long-term containment. Spent nuclear fuel must be reprocessed and combined with new enriched uranium. This fuel cycle, requires domestic uranium enrichment facilities or access to international nuclear fuel markets.

Fast breeder reactors work at higher temperatures with more energetic nuclear reactions. Unlike slow reactors, fast reactors can consume low and medium level radioactive waste as part of its fuel. It creates power and generates far less waste. This waste, while more radioactive has a significantly shorter half-life and reduces the problem of storage.

Fast reactors generate enriched nuclear material and plutonium. It can be used as fuel in slow reactors or in other fast reactors. It can also be used for weapons.

Why would Iran, with vast stores of oil, need nuclear power reactor, slow or fast?

A thoughtful nation, with oil reserves, might analyze the international trend of nuclear power development and realize that it makes sense to invest in domestic nuclear power generation and conserve its oil for a profitable export market.

Why doesn't Iran not contract with the French or Russians to build their power stations?

Iran and Russia do have a nuclear plant project going.

However, Iran is a progressive country and building their own nuclear industry provides then with several benefits:

1. Nuclear research stimulates growth of prestigious technical programs at Iranian Universities. Students involved in this research later become involved in other projects such as computer and materials development.

2. Iran can compete more effectively in international markets because it can develop and sell its own lines of nuclear power products and fuel, again a spin-off from the expanded Universities and downstream industrial development.

3. Iranian national security is enhanced because, like the U.S., dependence on foreign energy sources and high-tech products makes the country more vulnerable. Remember that Iran is under U.S. embargo and anything that Iran can learn to design and build itself makes it more secure. Having Iran dependent on an international nuclear fuel cycle makes Iran vulnerable to pressure from the U.S., Russia, etc.

4. Domestic stability and prosperity increases because there are more diverse jobs and businesses. Investing in nuclear power research and development is the seed for numerous hi-tech industries.

5. Iranian internal esteem and prestige is greatly enhanced because they have been able to join the nuclear power club through their own effort. This is doubly important for Iran and its place in the Islamic World.

6. Defense against legitimate external threats.

In or near the mid-East there are five nuclear powers: India, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, and U.S. Of these powers, Israel, Russia, and the U.S. have practiced pre-emptive strikes against other countries.

The U.S. is the only nation to use nuclear weapons. Recently, the Vice President stated he wanted to use nuclear "bunker buster" bombs on Iranian nuclear and military facilities. In addition, The U.S. has repeatedly intervened in Iranian internal affairs, including subsidizing Iraq during the 1980-888 Iraq-Iran war.

Iranãs fear of U.S. attack is real.

Summing Up

There are sound, peaceful reasons for Iran to develop its own nuclear industry and power cycle. There are economic, environmental, and political reasons supporting the development of a highly enriched uranium fuel and fast, breeder reactor technology for peaceful applications.

There are even sound reasons why the Iranians might want to develop nuclear weapons, strictly as a defensive measure to protect themselves from a country that has used nuclear weapons and manipulated Iranian internal affairs.

Charlie Rose interviewed Iranian President Ahmadinejad who gave a good rationale for not having nuclear weapons. To paraphrase Ahmadinejad, nuclear weapons are useless: did they help the Soviet Union in Afghanistan or when it fell apart, are nuclear weapons helping Pakistan with its internal problems, and have nuclear weapons helped the U.S. in Iraq?

Iran has compelling, legitimate reasons for the peaceful development of nuclear technology.

Jayprog
|
Zimbabwe
September 29, 2007

Japrog writes:
The greatest mistake that the U.S. is making is to assume that it controls the world. As a result it (the U.S.) is now viewed as a big bully afraid of small nations.

The issue of nuclear weapons should rather be lectured and spearheaded by the UN and not the U.S. Considering that .......

read more http://jayprog.blogspirit.com/archive/2007/09/29/the-nuclear-issue-re-vi...

kat-missouri
|
Missouri, USA
September 29, 2007

Kat in Missouri writes:
Whenever I read such questions, I think of Fukyama's "End of History". There was no end. The players simply changed their names and put on Armani suits.

Let's be clear, as a Romanian commenter above noted, certain nations are proliferating nuclear technology for the purposes of developing a new security strategy. This security strategy is not solely developed due to US presence or activity, but can be related to the political changes in surrounding nations that directly threaten the proliferating nation's security. Not necessarily physically, but economically.

Currently, Russia is continuing its efforts in building the Iranian nuclear plant. Through its relations with other nations it has supplied technology that is directly related to, not just the building of peaceful nuclear energy, but potential nuclear weapons.

After the break up of the USSR, Russia had a serious problem. Many of the republics which contained vast portions of their resource wealth had broken off, though retaining some relationship with Russia. Others have been slipping away over the last decade and a half to Euro-centric politics.

that is a direct threat to Russia's economic stability (economic instability leads to national implosions; ask the USSR...oops, you can't, it doesn't exist).

Look at a map. Iran shares geographic locality with Russia, some of it's republics and former republics in the Caucasus. all of which either supply energy resources (70% of Russias export economy and about 50% of its total state revenue) or , such as the former republics, pay leasing fees for distribution of said resources through pipelines, trains, highways and, finally, ports through Russia. Russia has a vested interest in securing the region.

The oil and natural gas in the Caspian Sea is equally of importance and equally shares some "international borders" with Iran. this is refined and/or shipped via pipelines, trains, highways and canals through or in close proximity to such troubled regions as Chechnya (why do you think they refuse to let it be independent?) and Ingushetia (recently in the news for similar issues of a violent independent movement). finally, major pipelines, canals, roadways, etc move through Stavropol down to the Crimean Peninsula in the Black sea. Loss of those republics or instability is a serious threat to one of their few ports and a major source of revenue.

Iran represents an excellent anvil to the Russian hammer against any erosions in this area. It's not all about the middle east.

However, Iran is part of OPEC and Russia is not. OPEC, with Middle East nations out pacing Russian output, controls the price of oil by increasing or decreasing production (thus the price of energy, gas, etc). Thus, effecting Russian economy.

In some ways, Russia's continuing actions to provide nuclear energy is to bring Iran more closely into their economic power ring. Iran can vote in OPEC, Russia cannot. But, with Russia, the Caucasus and Iran (oh, and let's not forget getting chummy with Hugo down in Venezuela, also an OPEC member), they form a very powerful energy cartel whose direct control of resources or the voting power (even by proxy) within other organizations can change world economics and politics for a long time (and not in a good way for those outside the ring).

A nuclear Iran would be icing on the cake as they would have either balanced out or completely jumped ahead of any security the other OPEC Middle East nations have with US and European military support. thus hitting the tri-fecta in terms of military, economic and political hegemony in two regions.

China, of course, will be a huge beneficiary of this outcome (God having nothing to do with it). They are energy hungry and seeking new or expanded countries to export their goods to (Iran being one such expanding market). They have inked a deal with both Iran and Russia regarding oil and natural gas pipelines (Iran having the third largest reserves). Competitive markets for energy are not China's friend.

I wonder how benevolent some of our European friends will be feeling about the subject when Iran has nuclear weapons that can reach to Paris and Berlin, when they are paying upwards of 15 Euro per litre for gasoline and their heating and electricity bills have quadrupled as inflation skyrocket along with the price of basic necessities (like food, clothing, etc) due to hugely inflated transportation costs and unemployment of 11% seems like economic gangbusters?

Please send your complaints to Moscow. Who, by the way, no longer has to poise armies at the Fulda Gap to threaten European independence. All they have to do is turn the screws on the tap. The little contretemps with the Ukraine last winter and the resulting embargo of natural gas is a taste of the joys yet to come.

kat-missouri
|
Missouri, USA
September 29, 2007

Kat in Missouri writes:
Then there is the internal issues of a nuclear Iran. Nuclear powered theocracy would have the power to eliminate any outside assistance to their people, oppressing and committing reprisals at will internally for anyone who dares to criticize their government internally. While I see some commentary above about the Cold War and the USSR having these nuclear weapons and never using them, I think people tend to forget the rather ugly 70 year history of Communist Russia, it's repressions, manufactured famines, gulags, etc, etc, etc. The people of the USSR were stuck with their government and these repressions for nearly a century due to its nuclear capabilities.

In our quest to discuss the "rights" of the Iranian people for "peaceful" nuclear technology, we are not discussing the rights of the Iranian people to live without repression or to live at all. Something that will be questionable with a nuclear Iran.

The posing of the question "who should have access to nuclear technology" is directly related to Ahmadinejad's and the Iranian theocracy's demand for their "right" to it. These demands are nothing but distracting slights of hand in a bad magic show that many around the world want to believe is "real". Repressive theocracies who are the largest sponsors of state power are not "peaceful".

I really appreciated Ahmadinejad's interview on 60 minutes where he insists that Iran has no need for nuclear weapons and points to the collapse of the USSR as the pinnacle of nations that can implode without it. What a bunch of bunk. He knows very well that Russia is still a power player that has not been invaded for more than half a century. Of course, Ahmadinejad also believes that the Godless Russians simply didn't have the right belief and political system or they would never have failed as Iran intends never to fail.

While we go on our way discussing this non-existent "right" in ideological, legal and moral terms, they go on their way to developing it for military and economic hegemony.

I might answer, also, some critics here about the US, its nuclear power and economic, political or military hegemony. Should Iran get nuclear technology and eventually nuclear weapons, causing this shift in power, I believe we will discover the difference between a largely benevolent nuclear power that tends towards freedom, democracy and capitalism to a potentially malevolent power whose long term goals include "death to America" and any western state that may oppose them. Part of this power structure does have a God complex and doesn't mind forcing it on its own people, much less others with no ethnic or political relationship to them.

And, another part, with a billion or so people, really doesn't mind sucking up all the resources it can get, holding entire nations over the barrel for energy while insuring that these nations give them said resources at highly discounted, price controlled rates that will keep many nations exceedingly poor for many more generations.

Oh, and our South American friends can look forward to nuclear Venezuela and the perpetuation and expansion of Chavismo Socialism where freedom of speech is null and void, television replays the great leaders favorite speeches and political dissidents disappear into never, never land.

Pardon me if I find this question being posed the equivalent of gallows humor.

Les
|
Minnesota, USA
September 29, 2007

Les in Minnesota writes:
Something to think about: who/what does the allowing, is it decided strictly in the marketplace (if you can afford it, you can have it) or is it regulated by either an international body or a country?

The folks making the decision are more important than folks being allowed/disallowed.

Is it the current nuclear club, the U.N., the IAEA, or who?

The effectiveness of a ruling body to have the world abide by its decision depends to a great degree on how the ruling body is viewed. If everyone thinks it is a thoughtful and fair organization then compliance is high. If the general consensus is that the deciders are working in their own self interest, compliance is low.

If compliance is low or grudgingly given, then enforcement of the decision is problematic.

So, who decides which nation can have nuclear technology.

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