The real reason Iran wants to go nuclear
Talks begin today between Iran and the world’s most powerful nations in Geneva. The talks will be the first direct talks between the US and Iran in over thirty years. The US delegation will be headed by William Burns, the under secretary of state for political affairs. While Iran’s lead representative in the talks will be Saeed Jalili.
Senior officials will represent the U.S., Britain, France, Russia and Germany from their governments. China, however, will be sending a low level reprehensive.
For the last week the Obama administration has been stating that Iran needs to stop its enrichment program entirely before further talks will take place, tomorrow the world will see if that was posturing on the part of the White House, or if indeed the Obama administration will follow through on that threat.
Iran via President Ahmadinejad has already made a concession prior to the start of the talks by announcing that they would be willing to purchase enriched uranium from a third party for their nuclear power program rather than enriching it themselves.
This concession and the way it is received or countered by the world’s leading Western powers could unveil a deeper reason for Iran’s nuclear ambitions as well as the Western power’s weariness regarding those ambitions.
Iran could simply want nuclear energy as an alternative energy source to free up some of the energy sources they are currently using to power their country. They would then be able to export the excess oil and natural gas and increase the wealth and economic standing of their nation. In the long run a nuclear powered Iran could have an enormous economic impact on the region.
One of the nations that would likely benefit from increased oil and natural gas exports by Iran is China. This is a reason why China is hesitant to bring a new wave of economic sanctions on Iran via the UN Security Council. Russia could also benefit from eventual increased exports by Iran, but it appears they made a deal to support possible sanctions with the US in exchange for the shelving of the Eastern European missile defense system.
The bottom line is that Iran will be able to declare in these talks is that they have not been found to be in noncompliance with the IAEA. Iran is also a signatory member of the Nuclear Non Proliferation treaty, treaty that allows the enrichment of uranium for civil purposes.
In the judgment of the IAEA Iran did the right thing by declaring the facility in Qom over a year before it will be operational (the IAEA asks that such facilities are declared 180 days before being operational.) Iran also invited in nuclear inspectors from the IAEA, however the recent public unveiling of the facility has been spun in the Western press as Iran becoming a step closer to having nuclear weaponry.
A fourth set of U.N. Security Council sanctions would be the likely outcome of a failure of Thursday’s talks or of subsequent talks.
New sanctions may have a difficult time passing the UN Security Council because of likely opposition from at the least China and also possibly Russia.
Another point Iran is likely to bring up in the talks is that Israel to does not allow inspections and has yet to officially declare its nuclear arsenal.