“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, December 24, 2007

Smart Iranian Nuclear Politics

In 1955, GE was ready for the nuclear age.

Just count the countries and companies that will be lining up to bid on nineteen nuclear power plants. Should General Electric and Westinghouse be there? Iran is going to be a nation that runs on nuclear power.

President Bush, in a 13 September 2006 interview with the Washington Post, when asked what he would say to the Iranian people, said,... "In terms of the nuclear issue," he continued, "I understand that you believe it is in your interest -- your sovereign interest, and your sovereign right -- to have nuclear power. I understand that. But I would also say to the Iranian people, there are deep concerns about the intentions of some in your government who would use knowledge gained from a civilian nuclear power industry to develop a weapon that can then fulfill the stated objectives of some of the leadership [to attack Israel and threaten the United States]. And I would say to the Iranian people that I would want to work for a solution to meeting your rightful desires to have civilian nuclear power."

That being the case, would it not be better to have American involvement in the technology and commerce?

Iran to seek bids for 19 atomic power plants
Mon Dec 24, 2007

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran said on Monday it rejected any preconditions for talks with the United States, which suspects it wants an atomic bomb, and a member of parliament was quoted as saying Tehran planned 19 nuclear power plants.

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki made clear Iran's position on talks three days after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Washington was open to better ties and talks with Iran if it suspended sensitive nuclear work.

"After the publication of a report by America's intelligence organizations, U.S. officials have talked of negotiations with preconditions with Iran," Mottaki was quoted as saying by Iranian media.

"But we do not accept any preconditions for talks," he said in comments to an Iranian satellite television station, reported on the state television Web site and by Iranian news agencies.

He was referring to a U.S. intelligence estimate published this month which said Iran had ended its nuclear weapons program in 2003, leading to calls by some Iran experts for Washington to drop its precondition that Tehran give up uranium enrichment before broader talks could begin.

At a news conference on Dec 21. in Washington, however, Rice dismissed such suggestions, saying the new intelligence estimate reinforced the need for sustained pressure on Iran.

Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil exporter, is embroiled in a dispute with Western powers who fear its nuclear program could be used to build an atomic bomb. Tehran says it is aimed at generating electricity.

Easing a diplomatic freeze that lasted almost three decades, Iranian and U.S. officials have held three rounds of talks in Baghdad this year, but those discussions have been limited to ways to quell the violence in Iraq.

The U.N. Security Council is discussing a possible third round of sanctions against Iran over its refusal to suspend its sensitive atomic work.


Mottaki's remarks came as Kazem Jalali, a spokesman for parliament's national security and foreign policy committee, gave details of a planned international tender for atomic plants a week after Russia said it had begun fuel deliveries to the Islamic state's first such facility.

Jalali said each power plant would have a capacity of 1,000 megawatts of electricity, the Iran News daily reported on Monday, without giving further details.

Russia said on December 17 it had delivered the first shipment of nuclear fuel to the Bushehr power plant in southern Iran, a step Moscow and Washington said should convince Tehran to shut down its own disputed uranium enrichment activities.

Iran, however, said it would not halt its efforts to enrich uranium, a process to make fuel for power plants that can also provide material for atomic weapons, if refined much further.

Iranian officials say domestically-produced fuel is needed for other power plants it wants to build as part of a planned network with a capacity for 20,000 MW by 2020.

Jalali, whose comments were initially carried by the official IRNA news agency on Sunday, suggested the tenders were in line with these plans. "The contract for building 19 power plants ... will in the near future be put on an international tender," IRNA quoted him as saying.

(Reporting by Zahra Hosseinian; Editing by Charles Dick)


  1. That being the case, would it not be better to have American involvement in the technology and commerce?

    It would, but they aren't going to do business with The Great Satan.

    2008 Prediction--Iran gets the bomb, and our advantage in affairs begins to dissipate as Mat says.

  2. Rice: US Has 'No Permanent Enemies'
    By MATTHEW LEE – 2 days ago
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Friday held out the prospect of improved relations with the remaining two members of President Bush's "axis of evil," Iran and North Korea, as long as they meet international demands over their nuclear programs.
    Rice said the Bush administration in its remaining year would welcome fundamental changes in its dealings with the two countries, as well as with Syria, and as an example pointed to warming ties with Libya, which renounced weapons of mass destruction in 2003.
    "The United States doesn't have permanent enemies, we're too great a country for that," she told reporters at a State Department press conference.

  3. When our tools of war become widely available to the enemy, our one sided idiocy will very quickly come to a tragic end.

    Was referring to that, but maybe I misunderstood.

  4. The genie is out of the bottle.
    The unacceptable, accepted.

    Ignorance replaced by Knowledge

    The Knowledge dissiminated amongst the ignorant, so that now, all are enlightened by the peaceful atom.

    Iran will be an exporter of nuclear energy, as well. With many of the world's countries wanting clean, cheap and never ending power that the peaceful atom promises to all of US and mankind.

    Cuba, Nicoland and Venezuela come first to mind, as reciprients of the Iranian atoms. Those people needing the energy provided as much as the next fellow, if not more.

    The promise of the ages, free energy, soon to be delivered.

    Interesting, bob, the report I read from Mr Cordesman did not indicate that he thought Israel would survive a nuclear weapons exchange, not as the Israel we all have come to know, anyway.

    Much like the last NIE about Iran, it's not the facts presented in the report, but the perspective one takes, prior to reading it.

  5. The idea of Israel surviving a nuclear exchange--well, I quess it's all in the definition. Technically speaking, there might be a few survivors wandering around. The rest of today and tomorrow, I'm going to try and think about things not so grim.

    Tis the season to be jolly, pass the toddy, hohoho! Happy Holidays to all you folks.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Bob,

    That's no advantage. That's just a queue line.

  8. Yes, I agree. Better to think about more pleasant things. Merry Christmas!

  9. "2008 Prediction--Iran gets the bomb, and our advantage in affairs begins to dissipate as Mat says."
    It began with W's election, accelerated with Condi's increased influence and Bolton's departure

  10. 41. Want to increase Aliyah? Become a Jewish country - or at least stop discriminating against Jews. Defend Sderot.

    Who would want to move to a country ruled by the rich selfish leftists of Tel Aviv, while everyone else - Jews in particular - are simply sacrifices for these mindless vain people's appeasement of their enemies, in the hopes of impressing some third party or other.
    Rick - USA (12/24/2007 20:17)