Sometime this week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will release a report which, according to press leaks, concludes that Iranian nuclear scientists have sought to create a nuclear-bomb trigger and conducted extensive computer modeling of a nuclear weapon. Such findings end the fiction that energy concerns motivate the Islamic Republic’s nuclear quest.
Tehran’s explanation that all it wanted was energy security never made sense. After all, Iranian officials had said they planned to build eight nuclear reactors by 2020. The Washington-based Bipartisan Policy Center calculated that, given Iran’s indigenous uranium reserves, it would exhaust its nuclear fuel by 2023 if all eight proposed reactors operated at capacity. That is hardly the stuff of energy independence. The explanation makes even less sense given that, for a fraction of the investment, Tehran could expand its gasoline pipeline network and upgrade its oil-refinery capability to ensure energy security for centuries to come.
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