Notes about the Iranian nuclear political issue

by Gene Michael Stover

created Monday, 2011-11-28 T 17:16:28Z
updated Thursday, 2013-02-07 T 03:52:17Z

What is this?

Scott Ritter, a marine & former weapons inspector for the United Nations in Iraq, claims that the change of regime in Iraq was planned by the United States for at least a decade before it actually happened. He claims that, due to a law passed by Congress (& which I can't remember), it was actually official, public policy.

He predicts that the same is happening with Iran.

To test his prediction, or to witness it as it happens, I'm keeping track of the Iranian political mess as it unfolds.



Score card

As of 2006 January 12

As of 2006 January 15

My personal thought: When Senator McCain said "There is only one thing worse than the United States exercising a military option, that is a nuclear-armed Iran" \cite{2006-jan-15-d}, I know for sure that the villification of Iran has begun (as Ritter predicted).

Another personal thought: Senator Bayh must have been worried that McCain's message was too oblique, so he said "Iran is the foremost sponsor of terrorism in the world. Iran is a menace. They have to be dealt with. Appeasement will not work. Nice words will not work".

Questions & Answers

Why would Iran want nuclear energy?

Specifically, why would Iran want nuclear energy when the USA & many other countries have decided its costs are not worth its benefits due to bad experiences in the past? Is it realistic, conceivable, that Iran could want nuclear energy & not weapons?

I think it is conceivable that they would want nuclear energy. Nuclear energy is not used as much as it could be.\footnote{Forget, for the moment, whether is {\em should} be used at all, whether it is worth the risk.}\ If Iran's government thinks its nuclear industry can solve the technical problems & produce cheaper, safer nuclear energy, it would benefit its own economy (cheap energy & lots of it) {\bf and} make a good profit by entering the international nuclear energy industry building nuclear energy grids for other countries (for a price, of course). (The other countries would be willing to convert because Iran would have proved that it was cost-effective & safe.)

Basically, Iran's government might be hoping that nuclear energy would help their economy much the same as a massively overhauled communications network has helped that of South~Korea.

These benefits might be magnified by Iran's proximity to oil-rich countries (Iraq, S'audi Arabia, & some of the former Soviet countries). Maybe Iran hopes to market itself as an alternative to its oil-merchant neighbors. (If so, will its oil-rich neighbors become hostile to Iran?)

It is also possible that they would hope to alleviate their polution problem by switching to nuclear energy. \cite{9C63797B-E5D8502C-43435B21-1FF936EA}

So yes, it is conveivable that a sane Iranian government would want to develop nuclear energy, not nuclear weapons.

When breaking seals, is Iran within IAEA regulations?

What is uranium enrichment? Why is it a cause for worry?

fixme. Needs more detail.

"Low-grade" uranium is suitable for fuel but not weapons. "High-grade" uranium is suitable for fuel & weapons.

Brittain, France, & Germany are afraid that, if Iran manufactures its own fuel, it will produce high-grade uranium & use that for weapons. They have said they would trust Russia to produce the low-grade uranium & give/sell(?) it to Iran.

Iran wants to produce its own fuel. {\em fixme. Why?}

Is Iran in compliance with IAEA?

Apparently, there's no simple answer to that. Here's an excerpt from the most recent report I found about the issue at IAEA's web site. The report is called "Safeguards Statement for 2004". The paragraphs were numbered, but that didn't transfer when I copied-&-pasted the section into this report. I have also removed the footnote superscripts for readability.

1.6 Islamic Republic of Iran

During 2004, the Director General submitted four reports to the Board of Governors on the implementation of the comprehensive safeguards agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran1, and the Board adopted four resolutions on the subject1.

At the end of 2003, Iran signed an additional protocol and agreed to cooperate with the Agency in accordance with the provisions of the protocol pending its entry into force. Though Irana's cooperation improved, information -- particularly that related to its past uranium gas centrifuge enrichment activities -- continued to be slow in coming and was provided in reaction to Agency requests. In April 2004, Iran committed itself to a joint action plan with the Agency and to a timetable for dealing with outstanding issues regarding the verification of Irana's nuclear programme. Corrective actions are being taken by Iran. In May 2004, Iran delivered to the Agency its initial declarations under the additional protocol.

Verification of the correctness and completeness of IranA's declarations is ongoing. There are two major issues of direct relevance to these efforts: the origin of low enriched uranium (LEU) and high enriched uranium (HEU) particle contamination found at various locations in Iran; and the extent of Irana's enrichment programme.

In addition to its implementation of the comprehensive safeguards agreement and additional protocol with Iran, in 2004 the Agency performed verification activities related to IranA's voluntary suspension of enrichment-related and reprocessing activities. In November 2003, the Board had endorsed the Director GeneralA's acceptance of IranA's invitation to verify implementation of IranA's decision to voluntarily suspend such activities. In November 2004, Iran informed the Agency that it had extended the suspension to include all enrichment-related (including uranium conversion) and reprocessing activities throughout Iran. Subsequently, as endorsed by the Board1, the Agency began its verification of the extended suspension.

It looks like the most accurage single-sentence summary might be "Regardless is whether Iran was in compliance in 2004, it was not so far out of compliance that IAEA complained".

Have there been IAEA inspections in Iran?

It is possible, but IAEA's web site doesn't say. Inspections would fall under their Safeguards & Verifications duty.

Why would the American government want to villify Iran?

Here are some possible answers, in no particular ordre.

  1. They are afraid that Iran will development nuclear weapons, not just nuclear energy. (In other words, exactly the reason they claim.)
  2. They are afraid that Iran's nuclear energy program will compete with American interests in the petroleum industry.
  3. They are afraid that a peaceful nuclear energy program in Iran will prove that Iran isn't all bad. It'll give Iran a friendly, justifiable, international clout which could be used to counteract America's bullying power.
  4. They are afraid that a peaceful nuclear program in Iran will give Iran international clout which will increase their anti-Israeli influence among countries which already hate Israel.


  1. Rothschilds Want Iran's Banks with the pretext of oil or nuclear. By Pete Papaherakles. 2012-02-25.
  2. 01. US expands sanctions on Iran, targeting oil and media. 2013-02-06.