Saturday, July 24, 2010

Iran's Push to Bring Legitimacy to its Nuclear Program

Iran announced today that it is working on a nuclear fusion program.

Frankly, this is probably more posturing than anything. Iran is not going to be able to seriously compete with joint Western efforts in France to develop viable fusion technology. If it starts pouring money into this endeavour, it will be a waste.

The announcement probably comes for two reasons:
1) To try to bring a sense of legitimacy to its nuclear program, and paint Iran as a brave martyr/victim of Western anti-Islamic prejudices. If it's being sanctioned for a noble and honest energy development program, then it certainly does appear the victim. This will help Ahmedinijad's popularity.

2) To make Iran look like it's modernizing. Again, this is mostly a domestic ploy. If Iran is able to appear to be modernizing and pressing forward technologically, it can alleviate some of the pain of the sanctions, which are felt by consumers. It's much easier to "sacrifice" for the state if progress is being seen.

For the West, careful PR will be the game, to try to keep the Iranian people disgruntled with their own leadership, rather than the Western Devil.
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