Iran’s Nuclear Program

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Iran’s Nuclear Program

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Developing it began in the 1950s, aided by Washington at the time – part of the Eisenhower administration’s Atoms for Peace program, explained in his December 1953 UN General Assembly address.

Nuclear reactor construction became a new profit opportunity for US business, building them domestically and abroad – the first ones in other countries constructed in Israel, Pakistan and Iran when Shah Reza Pahlavi was in power.

He aimed to fulfill a longstanding national objective – creating a modern energy infrastructure, built around nuclear power,, transforming power generation in the Middle East, reducing its dependency on oil and gas. 

In 1978, Iran had the world’s fourth largest nuclear program, the largest among developing states, intending 20 new reactors by 1995.

Reza Pahlavi aimed to weaken US/UK pressure on the country to recycle petrodollars.

It’s a key part of US imperial strategy, vital for its geopolitical dominance, dependent on recycling oil revenues into dollars.

When Nixon closed the gold window in 1971, the link between gold, the dollar and sound money ended. Market forces dominated dollar value.

Money-printing madness followed, notably under Fed chairmen Greenspan, Bernanke and Yellen, benefitting Wall Street and other powerful financial interests hugely at the expense of world peace and social justice.

Reza Shah’s aim to move away from petrodollar recycling, along with wanting to construct nuclear reactor in markets competing with US companies, proved his undoing.

Longstanding US policy aims for maintaining dollar hegemony, using developing nations as suppliers of oil and other raw materials, limiting their growth potential, wanting them prevented from competing with US industry.

Reza Shah’s divergence from US aims got the Carter administration to replace him with Ayatollah Khomeini, living in France at the time – a coup initiated similar to toppling Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953.

Broader aims were involved, Washington wanting unchallenged regional dominance allied with Israel.

Then and now, the strategy involves balkanizing regional countries along tribal and religious lines – a divide and conquer strategy similar to the 1990s Balkan wars.

The aim was to create an “arc of crisis,” spreading to Central Asia and the Soviet Union.

At the time, Reza Pahlavi was negotiating a 25-year oil agreement with British Petroleum (BP). Talks broke down.

BP demanded exclusive rights to future Iranian output, refusing to guarantee oil purchases. Pahlavi balked. He sought new buyers of Iranian oil in Germany, France, Japan and elsewhere – eager to have it.

US/UK destabilizing of Iran followed. Oil purchases were cut. Other economic pressure followed, turmoil instigated, including oil strikes, crippling production.

CIA operatives worked with Iran’s hated Savak secret police, building antipathy toward Pahlavi. Protests followed, leading to his ouster. Khomeini returned to Tehran, proclaimed an Islamic Republic. Plans for nuclear development were shelved.

Russia is actively involved today in nuclear reactor construction in Iran – for commercial power generation.

Tehran deplores nuclear weapons, wants the region free of them, Israel the only Middle East country with an undeclared arsenal.

Tehran threatens no one. Washington, NATO and Israel threaten world peace – sooner or later their devastating WMDs likely to be used, Iran a possible target.

Regional tensions are heightened. US/Israeli rage for Middle East dominance could engulf the region in greater war than already.

Things are heading in this direction if nothing is done to stop it – risking devastating conflict, potentially able to spread globally, a frightening situation.

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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.