Explain Iran for me

Do we have any proof that they are wanting to enrich uranium for weapons, instead of power? Have they come out and said, “Oh, by the way, we’re also going to go nuclear with this stuff.”

I mean, I hate the little brown fuckers like a good American, and I don’t trust them because I’m not supposed to trust them, but is there anything concrete we can hang all of these sanctions on? Personally, I’m a fan of nuclear power, and I don’t see how we can deny it to someone, provided they only use it for electricity. In fact, it seems we signed a treaty to the effect that we would actively help other countries develop peaceable nuclear power.

H.

It’s more just that when someone says “I want to develop nuclear power, not nuclear weapons” and then follows up with “and oh yeah, I sincerely wish Israel would explode,” it gives one pause.

That said, I do think nuclear power would be a good thing for Iran to develop. A lot of people here were like “give me a break, you have a ton of oil” when they said that, but if that’s what they really do want to do, I think that shows a great deal of foresight on their part, because oil isn’t going to last forever, no matter how much Americans want it to.

But again, when you have an extremist regime talking about enriching uranium and killing all the jews in practically the same sentence, it’s a cause for concern, regardless of what falls in between those two things.

Here’s one side of the argument: Iran needs nuclear weapons in order to protect itself from American or American-backed aggression and/or threat of force.

Here’s the other side: Terror! Towelheads! LOUD NOISES!

Why is nuclear deterrence an unthinkable course for Iran to adopt, when it was so good for the Great Powers of the Cold War? I think you can guess.

Look, I’m not saying we haven’t been hypocritical in the extreme on the subject of nuclear weapons, and I’m all for as much disarmament as possible. But the fact is, being a nuclear power puts you in a special club, and we need to stop accepting applications for membership. There are far too many nuclear powers as it is, the last thing we need is another one.

And you’re right, Iran would most likely sit on the nukes and just let everyone know they had them, as a means of protection against aggressors. That’s what everyone does with them, after all. But even if that’s all they did, that’s a terrible situation… do you want to have a nuclear standoff with Iran? There are already far too many oppurtunities for these things to end up on both sides of a conflict, and sooner or later, someone is just going to say “fuck it,” and both sides are going to launch, and that’s two countries full of dead people.

Bottom line is, we especially have to stop Iran from getting these because Iran’s government is psychotic as it is, but really, we have to not let anyone get them that doesn’t already have them.

I think the ability of Iranians to sympathize with the positions you articulate is justifiably limited by their interest in not being intimidated or invaded.

I think the wisest course for American leaders to pursue with regard to Iran is not “oh, we’ve gotta fuck them, we’ve gotta cockblock them,” but rather a sort of “stop trying to meddle” style of thing. You think it’s bad now, wait 'til you see what happens when you pick at it. The guy who has butterfingers should know better than to ask to hold the china teacup.

I think the Americans in positions to make decisions which concern Iran will think the exact opposite of everything I think, but at least it will be funny. We do not torture!

Competition’s hot for who’s got the most psychotic government. Very exciting.

Because both sides in the cold war wanted to avoid mutually assured destruction, since they in general preferred being alive to being dead. If one side knows that they are going to heaven when they die, and an even better heaven if they can take some infidels out with them, MAD doesn’t work.

You make a good point.

Edit: On second thought, start from Oct. 18th, '03, and read up from there.

Yeah, you’re right, maybe. Except, consider this: the government of Iran is shitty. Why should we put ourselves at risk in their interest?

I think the wisest course for American leaders to pursue with regard to Iran is not “oh, we’ve gotta fuck them, we’ve gotta cockblock them,” but rather a sort of “stop trying to meddle” style of thing. You think it’s bad now, wait 'til you see what happens when you pick at it. The guy who has butterfingers should know better than to ask to hold the china teacup.

The wisest course? How? Look, no matter how pissed off Iran gets at us stopping them from having nukes, it’s just a question of degrees, because they’re perpetually pissed at us as it is. And a pissed off Iran without nukes is better (for us) then a pissed off Iran with nukes.

But it’s not just that. It’s also better for Iran if Iran doesn’t develop nukes. The people of Iran, that is. See, Iran isn’t like pre-9/11 Afghanistan. It isn’t even like Saudi Arabia. Most of the ordinary people there don’t give a rat’s ass about the “Islamic Revolution” or about Sharia law or Islamic fundamentalism or terrorism or the jihad or any of that shit. Iran is a largely secular society living under a veil of theocracy, and that government is two wrong moves away from toppling at any moment. I don’t trust the Bush crew to handle this, but with some skilled diplomacy, we could nudge Iran into being a real democracy, and it could be done with little or no military action, and it would result in a stable country, not the clusterfuck that Iraq is at present. Let the government of Iran have nuclear weapons, and suddenly that gets a whole lot more complicated.

Competition’s hot for who’s got the most psychotic government. Very exciting.

Please, it isn’t us or them. There’s enough psychopathy to go around.

The government of America is shitty. Why should Iran remain vulnerable for its benefit?

They understand only violence! And towels! On their heads!

Excuse me, Mr. Pot, but I believe a telegram has arrived for you. It appears to be from a Mr. Kettle.

You don’t trust me when I say I’m going to use my plastic surgery skills to give you a Gwyneth Paltrow nose that will have all the boys after you and land you a deal for a major motion picture that will eventually lead to your becoming the fifth face on Mount Rushmore and being immortalized in song by Barbra Streisand in the glorious golden twilight years of her career shortly before you become the first human being to develop Wiccan superpowers, but when you don’t let me tie you up and cut your face with a kitchen knife, IT ONLY MAKES MY JOB HARDER.

No, they’ve been very careful about not saying “Hey, we’re gonna make nukes. Don’t bomb us, now!” When CNN mistranslated a press conference statement “we have a right to nuclear power” as “we have a right to nuclear weapons” Iran tossed them out of the country.

However this is also a country which uses “Death to [America/Israel/Europe/Oprah]” as a campaign slogan, funds Islamic terrorists globally and consistently threatens to literally wipe Israel from the map of the world.

Regardless, they signed the NPT. They do NOT have a “right” to nuclear enrichment. Now, you may find the NPT as a silly way of enforcing a leaky monopoly, but they don’t have a “right” to create the infrastructure for making nuclear weapons, and it is certainly not in the West’s collective interest for them to start.

UM, are you even trying to make sense any more?

Unless I’m misremembering, the NPT’s whole purpose was to discourage other countries from going nuclear weapon-wise, and in return the big boys would help them develop peaceful nuke power.

In fact, with a bit of Google, I’m not misremembering:

Article IV

Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all Parties to the Treaty to develop, research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty.
All the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to facilitate, and have the right to participate in, the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Parties to the Treaty in a position to do so shall also cooperate in contributing alone or together with other States or international organizations to the further development of the applications of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, especially in the territories of non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty, with due consideration for the needs of the developing areas of the world.

Article V

Each Party to the Treaty undertakes to take appropriate measures to ensure that, in accordance with this Treaty, under appropriate international observation and through appropriate international procedures, potential benefits from any peaceful applications of nuclear explosions will be made available to non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty on a non-discriminatory basis and that the charge to such Parties for the explosive devices used will be as low as possible and exclude any charge for research and development. Non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty shall be able to obtain such benefits, pursuant to a special international agreement or agreements, through an appropriate international body with adequate representation of non-nuclear-weapon States. Negotiations on this subject shall commence as soon as possible after the Treaty enters into force. Non-nuclear-weapons States Party to the Treaty so desiring may also obtain such benefits pursuant to bilateral agreements.

In fact, at this point it looks like we’re breaking a treat by NOT helping them develop the reactor, to say nothing of trying to stop them.

H.

Part the first: one nation’s nationalistic perspective is balanced by another nation’s nationalistic perspective.

Part the second: the claim that Iranian dislike of America is immutable and irrational is placed in its proper context.

Part the third: one thing is discussed in general terms that could also apply to another thing.

Part the fourth: the argument that persons should be allowed to attempt what they are incapable of doing is dramatized in a run-on sentence.

The problem is that the uranium enrichment process they insist they have a “right” to do is fairly useless for the purpose of nuclear power plants, but is vital for a nuclear weapons program. Thus the brouhaha.

No one really cares if Iran has a nuclear power plant. In fact the Russians are trying to GIVE them one as a means to solving this crisis. (Iran turned them down, last I heard.) Aside from fairly basic questions of why one of the largest exporters of oil in the world particularly needs a nuclear power program, the problem isn’t in their building a nuclear plant but that they’re using it as a pretty transparent excuse to refine the material needed for nuclear missiles.

Well, okay then. Link?

H.

[/quote]

[quote]Heavy water is used to moderate the nuclear fission chain reaction either in a certain type of reactor - albeit not the type that Iran is currently building - or produce plutonium for use in a nuclear bomb.

Uranium oxide - used to fuel reactors, albeit not the type Iran is constructing

Metal - often used in the cores of nuclear bombs. The IAEA is concerned about the metal’s use, as Iran’s reactors do not require it as fuel.

According to some estimates, when complete, Natanz could house some 50,000 advanced gas centrifuges, which would produce enough weapons-grade uranium to produce more than 20 weapons per year.

Other estimates suggest the plant will have a total of 5,000 centrifuges when initial stages of the project are completed. With that number, Iran would be able to produce sufficient enriched uranium to make a small number of nuclear weapons each year.

According to some estimates, when complete, Natanz could house some 50,000 advanced gas centrifuges, which would produce enough weapons-grade uranium to produce more than 20 weapons per year.

I was under the impression that it’s this bit that is getting people uppity, no-one can figure out why they need to enrich that much uranium just to run a couple of reactors.

Because both sides in the cold war wanted to avoid mutually assured destruction, since they in general preferred being alive to being dead. If one side knows that they are going to heaven when they die, and an even better heaven if they can take some infidels out with them, MAD doesn’t work.

I know the stereotype of muslims is one where they’ll give up their life at the drop of a hat to enjoy vestal virgins in a heavenly paradise, but this isn’t really true. Even the crazy ass Ayatollah Khomeini pulled back from the brink when Saddam showed him he could launch chemical weapons at Tehran. It was the Iranians fear of WMDs that caused them to finally sign a peace treaty after one of the most brutal wars this century has seen.

I don’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons, because there’s always a risk, but lets please dispense with this kind of crap.

Ugh, people like Unicorn McGriddle and their overly simplistic view of international strategic politics make me roll my eyes. I know you’d like to pretend that we’re living in a magical gumdrop fairyland where things like being hypocrits about nuclear weapon proliferation matters, but that’s just not the case.

The fact is, from the US’s point of view it is a bad thing for anyone else in the world to have nuclear weapons. The ideal situation would involve us being the only member of the nuclear club. Why? Because then there’s 0 chance they ever get used on us, which is our prime goal.

Unfortunately that’s not the situation, but it’s kind of OK because the guys who do have nukes are mostly cool people. But it’s still best for us to limit the spread of nuclear weapons - the more nations there are that have nukes, the more likely it is those nukes are going to get used on someone. Including us.

Houngan to answer your question: Unlike Iraq, the IAEA has been in Iran for a good long while - and unlike Iraq they have found a lot of evidence of Iranians covering up a clandestine nuke program. Then there’s Iran’s stubborn refusal to accept help with civilian only nuclear technology. Plus frankly it’s just the smart thing for them to do - they saw what happened to Iraq, and they saw what didn’t happen to North Korea; they know that soon as they’ve got a couple of A-bombs they can point at Israel they’ll pretty much be immune to Dubya deciding it’d be great if someone other than the Ayatollahs was running the show over there. I don’t think there’s anyone who seriously doubts Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program, and I don’t think there’s anyone who isn’t ignorant or incredibly naive who thinks that’s a good thing. Hell even Russia is on board for this one, and I suspect that as the Iranians get closer and closer to building a bomb the Chinese will saddle up too.

No link for j00, but the plans I saw included a heavy water processing plant. The only nuclear power plants that require heavy water are those that use natural, unenriched uranium.

If you’re using natural uranium in your power plant, you don’t need enrichment technology.

If you’re using enriched uranium in your power plant, you don’t need heavy water processing.

As Iran is seeking to enrich its uranium, the conclusion is that Iran is planning to do something with that heavy water that has nothing to do with generating electricity.