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Nuclear Power Is Good: U.S. and Iran Have No Argument There (New York Times International)

"...the United States and Iran discovered this week that they had something in common. They are both passionate cheerleaders for nuclear power. It's just that the United States wants to deny Iran the right to develop its own nuclear power capacity."

In a New York Times International article March 22, 2005, Elaine Sciolino examines the fine line between promoting nuclear power at home while attempting to ban its use in developing nations.

Sciolino writes: "...the United States and Iran discovered this week that they had something in common. They are both passionate cheerleaders for nuclear power. It's just that the United States wants to deny Iran the right to develop its own nuclear power capacity."

The article covers two speeches: one at a conference on nuclear energy by American ambassador Constance Morella, who told government officials and nuclear experts from 70 countries that nuclear energy is clean, reliable, necessary and a benefit to humankind.

The other speech was made the following day by Mohammad Saeidi, of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. Saeidi said the generation of nuclear power is the prime priority of Iran's nuclear program.

Morella cited a study estimating that global energy demand was expected to rise by about 60 percent over the next 25 years.

Seidi said oil and natural gas are limited and belong to all subsequent generations, and unrestrained use of these resources is not prudent.

The dichotomy of Iran has a broader scope: It is at odds with a concern within the U.S. Department of Energy that developing nations will become as energy-intensive as the United States, while becoming equally dependent on fossil fuels for power. Futurists predict a rapid depletion of oil reserves in that scenario.

This article is worth reading for a quick update on the state of U.S. foreign policy in the matter, and on European negotiations with Iran regarding uranium processing.

The Bush administration is concerned about nuclear materials in the hands of dangerous people in nations such as Iran. No mention is made of whether there are any dangerous people in the U.S. or the quantity of such materials here.

Comments

This subject came up in Bush's press conference in late April 2005. When a reporter asked him about Russia's decision to provide nuclear fuel to Iran, Bush said he did not object to the move. He admitted that he doesn't understand why Iran wants nuclear power "when they have all that oil," but said he appreciates Putin's offer to collect spent fuel for disposal outside of Iran.

"Iran's Nuclear Ambitions" gives a good primer on the issues and events up to Sept 2005. http://theweekmagazine.com/article.asp?id=1099 Why Iran started its nuclear program decades ago (with technology supplied by the US), why they turned to Germany when the US changed its mind, whether Iran has a working reactor, why leaders worry about it, and how three European leaders -- France, Germany and Britain -- gave peace a chance through diplomacy.