Monday, 23 January 2012

So, the dispute is over then?

Whether or not Iran is making nuclear weapons is now 'beyond dispute', or at least it is beyond Canadian politicians to dispute. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said so in a recent interview. I am glad that the interviewer (Peter Mansbridge) chose to point out how similar to Iraq this sounds, and how Harper fumbles to answer. I find it more interesting still the way he changes the subject to religious extremism, and, of course, fear... No substance: no quotes from Iran cited, no data proving WMDs, no dates of International Atomic Energy Commission reports (he does drop that name, though I assume he means Agency, rather than Commission, maybe he means the UNAEC United Nations Atomic Energy Commission. Wait, so really he did not actually drop a name at all...).

I think the International Atomic Energy Commission, if you look at its work, it's … there really is no secret that Iran's nuclear program has, as one of its purposes, the development of nuclear weapons, and that, I think, is just beyond dispute at this point. I think the only dispute is how far advanced it is, and how far off it will be until they actually develop those weapons, and develop the capability of delivering those weapons.
The last time I was reading about Nuclear Energy vs Nuclear Weapons (which was about a week ago) there was one fact that seemed relevant to this argument: enriching radioactive materials for weapons is a much harder process than it is for energy creation. The other fact I read was that we only use 10% OF THE MATERIAL in energy production and then have to safely store the "waste" for a few hundred decades, instead of using all of the material and having non-radioactive waste... But I suppose this is an argument for a different post.

While it is true that Iran could attempt to mask one by calling it the other, the Inspectors would probably be able to tell the difference. Iran did, after all, sign the nuclear non-proliferation act/treaty and are subject to regular inspections one of which is scheduled for January 29th and 30th this year. Maybe they will trip over some WMDs and fall down missile silos to plummet to their deaths, or maybe they will find no evidence of such a thing.

But I do think, at this point, nothing is beyond dispute.


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