BUSHEHR, Iran (CNN) — Iran tested its first nuclear power plant Wednesday, a stride that prompted one Iranian technician to declare it was “independence day” for the Islamic republic.
Officials said the next test will use enriched uranium, but it’s not clear when the test will be held or when the facility will be fully operational.
“Of course we’re proud. Our power plant is on its way to being ready,” engineer Mohsen Shirzai said. “We’re definitely proud.”
Russia’s nuclear power equipment and service export monopoly, Atomstroiexport, is building the plant under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency.
The United States, several European nations and Israel suspect Tehran has been trying to acquire the capacity to build nuclear weapons, but Iran has said its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes. Watch the world’s reaction to the nuclear plant test »
Last week, the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security released a report stating that Iran has reached “nuclear weapons breakout capability” — it has enough uranium to make a nuclear bomb. The report was based on an analysis of IAEA data.
However, an IAEA official who asked not to be named cautioned against drawing such dramatic conclusions from the data, saying Iran’s stock of low-enriched uranium would have to be turned into highly enriched uranium to be weapons-grade material. That hasn’t been done, the official said.
Hassan Qashqavi, a spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, denied accusations that Iran intends to make a nuclear bomb.
“Based on our religion and our human values, we totally reject all kinds of using all these WMDs, weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear bombs,” Qashqavi said in an interview this week with CNN.
“We would like our Western friends to recognize our undeniable right to reach this technology peacefully,” he added.
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(HH here: well it maybe OK and it may not. Iran can now build a bomb if it wants too, just not an efficient one able to be carried by plane or missile. If you find that consoling I have a friend by the name of Madoff you should talk to about investments.
The bottom line is whether NATO and the U.S. and Israel can depend on a nuclear capable Iran never wanting to weaponize it’s technology. That is a euphemism for building real bombs that can kill millions of people at a time. Poof! All dead, more dying. Of course after a bomb goes off we can identify the source of the nuclear material. That is a nice piece of information to put on the epitaph of the city that no longer exists due to a rogue device.
People often yammer about how the U.S. is STILL the only country to actually use an atomic bomb. Of course they ignore just how close Germany and Japan were to have an atomic weapon. You might notice I did not say close to having “the bomb”. From all historical accounts it seems that Japan HAD one. In fact it had two complete competing projects. One was i Japan and was bombed out of existence even though the Allies had no clue of the facility’s use. The other was in Korea and from all evidence got as far as completing at least one successful explosion of an atomic device. But there was no time to build and deploy a weapon. Nagasaki had been bombed three days before and only two days before the Supreme War Council had decided to capitulate. Because of an attempted coup the actual surrender was not announced until the 15th of august 1945 only 3 days after Japanese forces in Konan, Korea.
The remains of the Japanese atomic project in Korea was dismantled by the Soviets and personnel and material were removed to Russia.
From the first analysis of the use of Atomic bombs on Japanese soil it was apparent that they were a dead end technology more dangerous to use than to leave alone. The focus on weapons has almost always been about focusing force for a purpose. With atomic weapons there is NO focus. Just destruction. As mad as it was M.A.D. Mutually Assured Destruction was a stable situation. IT WAS unthinkable for the U.S. (or NATA) or the Soviets to actually “push the button” knowing the chaos it would unleash in the best of circumstances. Stalin was dead and the leaders of Russia and America were not insane.
But today the situation is not the same. While the early nuclear powers want nothing more than to negotiate the whole idea into oblivion the smaller and less stable view nuclear weapon as some sort to coming of age like growing a beard. They whine at the atomic powers that “you have it why can’t we have it TOO?” Missing completely the idea that we don’t want ANYONE to EVER use them. On ANYONE.
A Westerner knows in their bones that if we start throwing nuclear weapons around like grenades all bets are off and the world can essentially declare GAME OVER. The problem arises though that we have a number of regimes running around loose on this planet who think that breaking the bat and throwing away the ball and forcing the game to end simply because they are losing is a sacred ideology. What can you say of the mindset of someone who thinks nothing of threatening to nuke land they claim to want to occupy? Would M.A.D. mean anything to such a mind?
So, the question is not if the present regime is presently seeking to create usable atomic weapons. The question is, do the stable, peaceful nations of the world trust Iran to have the capability?