Iranian Nuclear TV imagery and meaning

Indian TV channels are carrying television coverage of Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inspecting certain nuclear installations publicly revealed for the first time. But the careful coverage was limited to showing uranium centrifuges — which the Iranian TV commentator claimed were “4th generation”, and a pool to store spent fuel from a  boiling water type LEU reactor, run on indigeneously-produced fuel rods, able to output, it was repeatedly stressed, isotopes for medical use, especially for radiotherapy to cure “850,000” cancer patients in the country. All this is very well. But it is plutonium that is really relevant for weapons making and, in this respect, there was a “no show” of any related facilities, such as pu reprocesing, pu heavy water moderated reactors, etc. By stressing peaceful N-uses, Tehran is trying to rally international support against a  preemptive strike, and may have prevented such an attack  for the nonce, any way by Israel assisted by US sensors and terminal guidance paraphernalia. It has bought Iran some time. Even so, this time element may be crucial, because there’s no doubt Iran, which has been on the cusp for several years, has about reached the weapons threshold. I remember what a senior scientist at the heavy water plant in Arak told me when I was taken around that installation, along with a few other Indian visitors a couple of years back on a conducted tour.  In response to my question about Iran’s N-intentions, he replied: “We are following the Indian model”!

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
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2 Responses to Iranian Nuclear TV imagery and meaning

  1. Jagdish says:

    I concur. Circa 2006 in a discussion, we had predicted a 3-5 year time frame from for Iran to be ready. I wish, India had the muscle and foresight to step in and provide Iran the security guarantees and was in a position to “manage” Iran’s interactions with the world. What KSA is to US, Iran could be for India. But, in talks with you earlier, recognize that India does not enjoy such heft. Which is sad.

    A couple of years back, PRC invested $25 billion in deals with Iran. 😦

  2. Assuming India was in a position to offer it security guarantees which in any case would have proved futile given the countries arrayed against it — US, Israel, NATO, Iran is unlikely to have accepted them. It is a civilizational thing.

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