Ludwig von Gress
The interest of the world Gleichschaltung media waxes and vanes; sometimes it is laziness, sometimes moon phases, sometimes ennui and sometimes a directive from the Socialist International. At the moment Damascus is approaching its Last Quarter, and Tehran must be overjoyed that the fickle attention of the world’s consumers of opinions masquerading as facts is directed elsewhere.
So a few days ago, on the 5th July, Iran announced plans to build a nuclear powered submarine. My opinion on efficacy of nuclear submarines is well known [Maritime will], simply – more bangs for your bucks, and it could be pleasing to know that Iranians worked it out too, as opposed to the China-appeasers in charge of Australian Clayton defense. Some expert suggest that Iran does not have the capability to build a relatively sophisticated vessel, and that the announcement is firstly an attempt to raise the stakes, secondly a feasible excuse for enriching uranium. With countries such as Algeria (GNP $280 billion) acquiring ex-Soviet Kilo submarines, diesel but still dangerous enough, and Brazil on track to equip its future demi-Scorpene class SSN with a Brazil designed and manufactured nuclear power plant, who can object to a sovereign state (GNP $820 billion) wishing to save itself from the perennial murky designs of Russia, China, and Iraq? And further, by not using fossil fuel in its submarines save the planet en pasant?
Reactors in the latest US Navy submarines use HEU (highly enriched uranium), enriched to 93%. Naval reactors can run, obviously less efficiently, with uranium enriched to about 20%. Nuclear weapons need a fissile purity of 90 percent. According to the reports, Iran now refines uranium to reach a 3.5 percent concentration of the fissile isotope U-235 – suitable for nuclear power plants – as well as 20 percent, supposedly for a medical research reactor in Tehran.
Even 20% is too high according to the ambit claim of the Western negotiators – five permanent Security Council members (UK, USA, France, Russia & China) plus Germany. They have been “negotiating” with the Islamic republic of Iran for over ten years now with singular lack of success. Iran talks of its more and more peaceful intentions (a stated intention to destroy Israel notwithstanding) and carries on with its nuclear research as usual. Feeble economic sanctions against Iran approved by UN are ignored by at least two permanent Security Council members, China and Russian Federation. The latest powwow in Istanbul on 3rd July produced the same result as all the previous ones – let’s meet again one sunny day. Two days later the Iranian nuclear submarine project was confirmed.
One can easily guess where the sympathies of the current non-permanent members i.e. Azerbaijan, India, South Africa, Colombia, Morocco, Togo, Germany, Pakistan, Guatemala and Portugal, lie. Goulash of strategic interests of China, Pakistan, Israel and Russia is spiced with electoral interests of Barack Obama and the socialists everywhere. United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently said that “the pressure track is our primary focus now, and we believe that the economic sanctions are bringing Iran to the table.” Not a great outcome of the long ten years of effort by the former world power. [see John Bolton – The negotiation delusion]
According to a Pew poll released in early May this year, sixty-three percent of Americans think military force should be used to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. So do slim majorities in England, France, Germany and several other European countries, as do Egypt and Jordan. In countries accustomed to totalitarian regimes it is different – in Russia it is only 24% in favour; 41% opposed and in China 30% in favour; 39% opposed.
Pakistan is the only country which would like to see Iran get nuclear weapons. Opposition in North America and Europe is between 80 to 90%.
“Pakistan is the only Muslim country which holds a favourable view of the Islamic Republic, and the stance of many Arab countries is negative and in some cases sharply falling. Between 2006 and 2012, Iran’s availability rating has fallen from 59% to 22% in Egypt and 49% to 18% in Jordan.” (Jerusalem Post 19-05-12)
Similarly, Iran is highly disliked practically everywhere, led by 91% of Germans who hold an unfavourable view of the country. Other Europeans countries range between 62% and 85% in terms of the percentage holding negative views of Iran, with 68% of Americans holding a negative view.
Of course, people, as ever, do not count. The governments of China and Russia boycott the UN sanctions, such as they are, and the Islamic Republic is suffering even milder inconvenience than South Africa did during the apartheid kerfuffle. Unless somebody, say Israel, acts, and acts soon, Iran will become a nuclear power.
Islamic Republic of Iran may not have many ostensible friends, but its nuclear capability will influence a lot of people.