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The Forum > Article Comments > Middle Eastern reactors for profit > Comments

Middle Eastern reactors for profit : Comments

By Peter Coates, published 13/1/2010

Nuclear reactor sales to Arab countries are drawing little criticism because they benefit the West.

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Might be missing the point of the argument, but as a historian, one once again asks why a nuclear Iran seems to worry most other nations when a study of history proves that Iran has never attacked another nation since its Persian days?

The same certainly does not fit little spittyfire Israel, which for years now has had an illegal array of
nuclear warheads pointed at Iran.

Though one has no love for Iran, it is the historical context that any good historian has to go by.
Posted by bushbred, Wednesday, 13 January 2010 11:11:33 AM
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Nuclear reactors with an external fuel rod supply and reprocessing based on a new for old exchange cannot be used to develop weapons.

The refining of fuel and reprocessing can, but as it is hideously expensive on a small scale (such as in Iran) cannot be justified for power generation in a small country, and is thus a definitive indicator of a weapons program.

For Iran to produce fuel rods at 4=5 times the cost of buying them from Russia, it can be inferred that the only reason is to avoid the oversight of IAEA and to produce weapons grade fissile material.

An example needs to be made of Iran, via tough sanctions, so that everyone can see that nuclear weapons are a no no.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Wednesday, 13 January 2010 11:38:23 AM
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I don't think the UAE nukes will produce weapons material because the process in not secretive like Iran and they want assured long term supply of fuel. The thing to note about the UAE is that after building skyscrapers, artificial islands, an indoor ski resort and gas fired desal plants they now want something besides oil even though they have plenty of sunlight. That point seems lost on those who think that sun and wind will replace fossil fuel at affordable cost.
Posted by Taswegian, Wednesday, 13 January 2010 12:39:11 PM
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A few points.
Looks like MAD will soon be back with us. It was always inevitable once the Americans reneged on the disarmament treaties and Israel, Pakistan and India refused ANY form of co operation.

Obviously the shills for nuke power that have been roaming the west spruiking their nukes for the past few years have give up on persuading us and have gone off to make their lucre elsewhere. And to hell with security. Only the money matters.

Armageddon is only a matter of time.
Posted by mikk, Wednesday, 13 January 2010 3:13:36 PM
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But little Israel already has the most deadly of them, Shadow Minister, and because she is so over-ready to use them on Iran, what else can Iran do?

Strike nuclear weapons which if used against Iran could not only bring in Russia but probably China.

To be sure Henry Kissinger was right fifty years back when he warned his boss Richard Nixon that a nuclear armed Israel could ultimately bring on WW3.

But Nixon went ahead and gave the deadly okay, and as any competent Minister of State should still know, to mess about with power balances by giving small nations the most deadly of weaponry, is only asking for future trouble.
Posted by bushbred, Wednesday, 13 January 2010 7:41:12 PM
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Bushbred,

Just to clear up a few points in your posts on this thread.

--50 years ago, in 1960, Eisenhower was still president. Kissinger was a powerless academic back then.

--It seems likely that the Israelis already had a small nuclear arsenal in the mid-sixties before Nixon became President.

--I doubt any US president would have acquiesced to passing nuclear weapons technology to Israel or any other country.

--Most of Israel's nuclear program seems to be home grown. One thing Israel has never lacked is good scientists. See eg "The Tel Aviv Cluster"

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/opinion/12brooks.html

--If Israel did get any help with its nuclear weapons program it was probably from France.

--If Seymour Hersh is correct Kissinger urged an immediate massive resupply of Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur war in order to avert an Israeli nuclear attack on Cairo and Damascus. The resupply took place and Israel went on to win the war.

--There seems to have been nuclear cooperation between Israel and South Africa. It was probably a technology for uranium deal. I think South Africa's uranium enrichment plant at Pelindaba relied on Israeli technology.

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vela_Incident

--Since 1973 US policy seems to have been to keep the Israelis so well supplied with non-nuclear weapons that they need never consider a nuclear strike.

--Israel's ace in the hole seems to be the simple fact that about a quarter of the world's oil pumping capacity is now within reach of its nuclear strike force. If Israel goes down the entire oil and gas infrastructure of the Middle-East becomes radioactive rubble.

--I doubt Israel would actually use its nuclear arsenal for anything less than seeing off what it perceives to be an existential threat.

--Faced with an existential threat I doubt anybody could stop Israel unleashing its nukes.

--Iran's recent failure to launch wars of conquest is probably due to a lack of capability. It's a bit like my saying I've never won an Olympic gold medal.
Posted by stevenlmeyer, Wednesday, 13 January 2010 11:05:32 PM
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