Some of you asked for something completely different.
Iran proudly switched on its first civilian nuclear reactor at Busheyr in 2011. It justifies its nuclear enrichment programme as needed for the development of civilian nuclear power. The USA, Israel, Europe and the IAEA do not believe this. Iran has turned down offers from Europe and Russia to guarantee supplies of reactor fuel and in 2010 announced it had achieved enrichment up to 20%, allegedly for a special reactor to manufacture medical radioisotopes, but well above the typical 2-3% enrichment of power reactor fuel. To the outside world, the objective of Iran’s enrichment programme must plainly be to allow to build atomic weapons if it chooses. I’ll go along with the CW.
But that’s not how the Iranian public sees it. According to Wikipedia:
Interviews and surveys show that the majority of Iranians in all groups favor their country’s nuclear program. Polls in 2008 showed that the vast majority of Iranians want their country to develop nuclear energy, and 90% of Iranians believe it is important (including 81% very important) for Iran “to have a full fuel cycle nuclear program.”
Polls on nuclear weapons give more mixed signals. Remember that officially, for both domestic and foreign consumption, the government claims not to be developing them. So a very large number of Iranians believe their government’s story that the enrichment is to develop civilian nuclear power. Their opinions matter in this strange constitutional theocracy: Ahmadinejad was re-elected President in 2009, with plenty of irregularities but a convincingly large majority. Iran is far from North Korea.
It’s time to open Iranian eyes to the hopelessly geriatric state of nuclear power in the world.