Monday, June 13, 2011

Six powers push defiant Iran to address nuclear fears

VIENNA (Reuters) - Russia and China joined Western powers Thursday in telling Iran its "consistent failure" to comply with U.N. resolutions "deepened concerns" about possible military dimensions to its nuclear program.

The United States, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China issued the statement a day after Iran said it would triple production of high-grade uranium and shift it to an underground bunker which would be protected from possible U.S. or Israeli air strikes.

Russia and China have in the past been less inclined to try to isolate Iran over its uranium enrichment which Tehran says is solely to generate electricity. Western nations suspect the Islamic Republic wants to enrich uranium to a higher level so as to be able to make nuclear weapons if it chooses.

Let's see what we can learn from this article. The United States helped place Mohammad Pahlavi as the Shah of Iran. His subsequent human rights abuses by the the SAVAK (secret police) led to the revolution and the 1980 takeover of the US embassy in Tehran. US-Iranian relations have been tense ever since (leading the US to support Saddam Hussein during the Iran/Iraq war).

The British colonized much of the Middle East. BP or British Petroleum was originally the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC). In the 1950s, Iran voted unanimously to nationalize its oil production. Britain contested in the World Court but its complaint was dismissed.

On 19 August 1953, Prime Minister Mossadeq was forced from office with CIA support, involving the Shah and the Iranian military, and known by its codename, Operation Ajax. Mossadeq was replaced by pro-Western general Fazlollah Zahedi. After the coup, Mossadeq's National Iranian Oil Company became an international consortium, and AIOC resumed operations in Iran as a member of it.

The consortium agreed to share profits on a 50–50 basis with Iran, "but not to open its books to Iranian auditors or to allow Iranians onto its board of directors. The AIOC would become BP in 1954.

Germany is not interested in seeing an unstable Middle East with the potential of increased oil prices since it is shutting down its nuclear power plants. Until Germany arrives at a cost-effective means of replacing her nuclear power plants, oil will remain an important means of producing energy.

France has no intentions of abandoning nuclear power at this point, however they still require a steady flow of cheap oil for their economy as well.

Russia still remembers its last war with the Persian empire in 1828 and views the Iranian nuclear program as a threat. Unlike the US, Russia does not dismiss Persian aggression lightly and knows that as a modern country Iran is not to be ignored. A nuclear Iran could pose problems even for the Russians.

China is perhaps the only country of the six that does not have a direct interest in the state of Iran's nuclear program. The only interest seems to be having the other five countries engaged with Iran leaving China alone to pursue its policies unfettered.

Yahoo! News

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