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Iran and Chernobyl | Stanley Heller

About The Author

Stanley Heller Administrator of and writer for Promoting Enduring Peace and hosts “The Struggle” TV News, at www.TheStruggle.org. Contact him at stanley.heller@pepeace.org.

The Jerusalem Post says that U.N. diplomatic sources claim that U.S. officials told them that Trump is meeting with Pentagon leaders “incessantly” and were working on a “tactical assault” on Iran, making plans to “massively” bomb an Iranian target connected to its nuclear program. Now this may be just more Trump blustering, or it may be the real deal. We have to take the possibility seriously.

Facebook Friend Sina Zekavat wrote this a few days ago: “The ‘tactical assault’ of US on Iranian regime’s nuclear facility can cause a human and environmental catastrophe like that of Chernobyl and Fukushima. Iran does not even have the technology to handle its nuclear waste properly, never mind handling a nuclear explosion and release of uranium into the air.”

Chernobyl? People are remembering Chernobyl, the 1986 catastrophe in then Soviet Ukraine thanks to a dramatic HBO mini-series. It was an instant hit on IMDB getting a 9.6 rating, a hit on the scale of “Game of Thrones”.

About that disaster the International Atomic Energy Agency writes on its website “some 150,000 square kilometres in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine are contaminated.” It says the “accident at Chernobyl was approximately 400 times more potent than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima”. However, the IAEA lowballs the number of deaths. An undated page on its site says 30 died during the accident or in the three months thereafter. It’s 2005 study said 50 had died and predicted 4,000 lives would be cut short because of the accident as a result of radiation. Greenpeace
in 2006 did its own study and estimated a quarter million cancers would result from the accident, of which 100,000 would lead to fatalities. In 2010 the New York Academy of Sciences published a book written by two Belarus and one Russian scientists. Their conclusion was 985,000 people had already died from cancers in the contaminated areas. Kind of a staggering difference of opinion, wouldn’t you say?

Will we find out which estimate is closest to the truth if Trump send the cruise missiles into a nuclear power plant or a factory filled with centrifuges? What ways do the winds blow in that part of the world? What radiation spread as far as Mecca? As Jerusalem? What are the half-lives of the radioactive elements being used for nuclear power and uranium enrichment? I hope scientists will give out the answers loudly and swiftly.

Though Trump had no business junking the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, Zekavat also has harsh words for the regime. He writes, “Nuclearization was never a popular demand from the people, the insecure and illegitimate state shoved it down people’s throat as a ‘national right’. The misery, pain and suffering that this unnecessary program has caused the Iranian people seem to have no end…from economic misery to a potential nuclear environmental disaster.”

Why does Iran want dangerous nuclear power, anyway? It has huge supplies of oil. It can develop wind power and solar. Prestige? Fears that countries without nuclear weapons can always be pushed around by those that have them and so it should have enriched uranium around just in case?

Iran is thousands of miles away from the U.S. Our government, which has caused so many hundreds of thousands of deaths in the Middle East, has no business sticking its nose into the Persian (Arabian?) Gulf conflicts. If Japan, the country whose tankers were attacked, thinks Iran is to blame let it follow international law and take it to the U.N. Better the U.S. spend time disentangling from the war against the Yemenis and paying compensation

Yet don’t let the Iranian regime off the hook. As Zekavat tells us, “By all means resist US imperialist violence and aggression, but don’t whitewash the role of the Iranian regime in this situation, so that it fits into your own worldview…once again we are seeing the accuracy of the old saying ‘the tyrants bring the invaders.’”

See also: https://www.truthdig.com/articles/a-critical-look-at-uranium-twisting-the-dragons-tail

One comment

  1. former Iranian official Mohammad Mirandi who negotiated the Iran-U.S. nuclear deal said this on 6/21 on Democracy Now:

    “But also, I’d like to point one other thing out. And that is, if indeed a military conflict is inevitable between the United States and Iran, I think there are two important things that have to be kept in mind. First, if there is a war, then, in my opinion, all of the oil and gas facilities, as well as the tankers in the Persian Gulf region, will be destroyed. This will not be just the issue of closing the Strait of Hormuz. This will be something very long-term. And that will lead to a global economic catastrophe unlike anything we’ve seen in contemporary history. In addition to that, Iranian allies across the region will engage U.S. forces and U.S. allies militarily, in Iraq, in Afghanistan and elsewhere. And then you would have the Saudi and Emirati regimes collapse immediately, because they’re completely dependent on oil. And millions of people will be on the move. So, that’s a scenario that is just something that people should not even contemplate.”

    my emphasis “all of the oil and gas facilities, as well as the tankers in the Persian Gulf region, will be destroyed. ”

    and he also said that Iranians won’t go tit for tat but , “The Iranians will be relentless in their response.”

    So even if the conflict does not involve nuclear sites it can be immense.

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