Posts tagged ‘nuclear fuel’

Train bombing in Mumbai, and other news

There was a terrorist strike on the Mumbai train system reminiscent of the London and Madrid bombings. Several hundred people are injured/killed. I hope Rishad and his family are alright (edit: they’re fine, though his cousin got off one of the trains 10 minutes before the bombs went off. Scary!), though it’s statistically likely that they’re alright: there are 19 million people in Mumbai, and around 500 were in the bombings. No one is certain who did this yet or what their reasons were. I suspect this is going to be really big news.

Congress has begun debating tribunal systems for Guantanamo inmates. It sounds like very little has been accomplished so far, but at least it’s starting.

Finally, the UN may be gearing up for sanctions against Iran for dragging its feet about the nuclear fuel compromise it has been offered. I suspect that sanctions will be imposed but ineffectual (when was the last time that sanctions actually brought about the intended changes to countries?), and eventually either Iran will become a nuclear power or someone will invade the country and find that, like in Iraq, no nuclear weapons program exists. My bet is on the second option, but we shall see. I liked Scott Adams’ take on this whole issue:

I’ll discuss this more soon, but I’m going to bed now.

Perhaps I was wrong about Iran

Up until now, I’ve been thinking the US has been making a big stink about Iran’s nuclear programme over nothing: just another superpower hoping that their enemies will not be given their inalienable right to improve their lot. However, I’ve been reading more on the subject, and it looks like there may very well be a sinister undercurrent to Iran’s drive for nuclear research. It’s a bit conspicuous when you step up your nuclear research while at the same time calling for another country (within missile range, no less) to be wiped from the face of the Earth. I kind of like the Russian deal, which is that Russia will supply Iran with reactor-grade nuclear fuel to be used in Russian-designed power plants, and Iran will return the spent fuel to assure that it is not diverted to make weapons. The US doesn’t seem to be going for that either, however, and I’m still confused as to why not. Whatever happens, it should finish up in a few more months.

Here’s the weird thing, though: suppose that Iran is actually doing this to be able to nuke Israel. If they hit Jerusalem, this will make Muslims, Christians, and Jews all angry, and since Iran wants to stay on the good side of at least the Muslims, I doubt that will happen. So suppose that Iran nukes the rest of Israel, and leaves Jerusalem alone. This would have absolutely catastrophic effects for Iran as well as Israel, because the rest of the world would be so surprised, appalled, and outraged that nearly every major country in the world would declare war on Iran and conquer it. Surely Iran doesn’t want to be conquered. Wiping out Israel in such a manner would also wipe out Iran itself. Consequently, I doubt Iran is planning to nuke Israel. Therefore, I believe that it is in Iran’s best interests to not nuke Israel. However, if this is the case, why try to develop nuclear weapons at all? To be used in some sort of blackmail/coercion? To counter any country that tries to invade (I don’t think Iran needs defenses to repel any invading countries any more; that ended about a decade ago with Iraq)? Making nukes to repel any aggressors who wouldn’t invade unless Iran builds nukes seems unnecessarily circular, and would only hurt Iran. Why would they do this? Perhaps they really are just trying to build power plants? But if that’s the case, why aren’t they being more cooperative with other countries? Something isn’t adding up in all of this.