Source Pravda.Ru

US concerned over Russian-Iranian nuclear co-operation

The United States has expressed its concern over Russian plans to build five nuclear reactors in Iran, a country labelled one of the “axis of evil” powers by president Bush earlier this year.

The plans to build five nuclear reactors were announced on the Russian Government website this week. Three are to be built at Bushehr and a further two in western Iran, at Akhvaz.

The US administration is worried that the facilities will be used for making nuclear weapons, which has provoked a wave of protest at the highest levels. US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham declared on Thursday that the US was treating the matter “with the utmost concern”. The US position is being supported by Israel, which bombed a nuclear facility near Baghdad in 1981. Ariel Sharon predicted recently that Iran would be a nuclear power by 2005.

The argument used by the US administration that Iran has enough traditional sources of energy to make a nuclear fuel programme unjustifiable is frankly ridiculous. Why then would the USA have a nuclear power programme if it has such vast resources? Why did Britain begin a nuclear power programme in the 1950s when its coal mines were still operative and why does Britain continue to operate the Sellafield power plant, which has already had a leak, when there is still a huge amount of North Sea Oil? For the same reason that Iran wants a nuclear power programme. It is cleaner, and cheaper. Simple arguments used by the managers of the western nuclear power programme.

The claim that the Russian Federation is collaborating with a pariah state to aid it to obtain nuclear grade weapons is insulting and shows a degree of hysteria, and ignorance, which is astonishing at these levels of management.

If the Russian Federation were in any doubt whatsoever that the nuclear power plants were to be used to procure weapons-grade uranium to use in nuclear warheads, it would certainly not be discussing the project with Teheran, much less because Moscow is far more sensitive to Islamist problems in the region than any other country, except perhaps Israel.

The notion that any movement within the three “evil” states is a disguised plan to wreak Armageddon on the streets of the USA or Israel is as farcically simplistic as it is infantile. The notion that pressure will be exerted on Moscow to drop the project is one of bullying and interference in the economic affairs of a sovereign state. Moscow has the right to sign contracts with power consortiums in the region, just as US companies have the right to sign up for stakes in oil and gas in the region.

Washington’s rhetoric becomes more shrill and fever-pitched by the day. What Washington would like, it seems, is a restricted group of friendly nations with nuclear weapons, nuclear power programmes, weapons of mass destruction and large armies for US arms manufacturers to sell arms to, while the rest of the world is expected to burn fossil fuels, contributing to even greater levels of atmospheric pollution and when Washington tells them to jump, they are supposed to ask “how high?”

The comment of Spencer Abraham denounces a clear lack of respect for the Russian Federation from himself and any of his superiors whose worries he voices.

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru

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