Thursday, November 23, 2006
What is it with the Parsis?
We have no quarrel with the Parsis aka Iranians. I wonder why they are menacing us in Israel with total destruction. Iran has a fourth world economy, specializing in pistacchio and carpets. Since the Shah's megalomaniac projects, it had no nuclear ambition. Why are feeling now the urgent need to have nuclear weapons?
In 1997, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Agency (Gholamreza Aghazadeh, the former Oil Minister) announced that Iran would attempt to meet 20% of the country's electricity demand through nuclear power. Aghazadeh said that Iran had decided to build a second 1,000-MW unit at the Bushehr nuclear power complex as soon as work is completed on the current unit being built by the Russians. Currently, Iran has five small nuclear reactors, one in Tehran and four in Isfahan.
Work on Bushehr had begun in 1974, but was halted (80% complete) following the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In January 1995, progress on Bushehr resumed when Russia signed a $780-million contract to complete the facility. The Russian deal calls for completion of the two 1,300-MW pressurized-light water units as well as the supply of two modern VVER-440 units. The United States strongly opposes the project and has in the past provided Russia with information pointing to Iranian nuclear weapons intention. The Russians have proceeded, although slowly, with work on Bushehr. A final completion date remains uncertain.
Now they are building centrifuges to produce weapons grade uranium and plutonium. Are Persians feeling that their country is disintegrating like Iraq and need to go nuclear to prevent foreign intervention? When I joined Tahal, its largest projects were in Iran. Our Israeli engineers did not praise Iranian capabilities. I have no idea why or how they are now our enemy. Jews, from Cyrus, always respected Persians.