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Sunday, May 29, 2005

Nuclear challenges

The Times (London) reports that Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is interesting in developing his own nuclear weapons, er, I mean energy program. He recently said, "We want to initiate nuclear research and ask for help from countries like Iran." And like Iran, the oil-rich nation winks while it maintains that it is not interested in acquiring nuclear weapons and the rest of the world pretends not to notice the winking. Venezuela would become just the second nuclear power in the Americas.

I have a review of two books on Iran -- The Persian Puzzle and Atomic Iran -- in today's Halifax Herald. I wrote the reviews before last week's news that Iran may already have nuclear weapons. If Venezuela is truly interested in Iran's assistance, it is even more imperative that something be done to rid Iran of such weapons. Where is a surgical Israeli strike when you need one. (And yes, I am aware that Iran 2005 is not the same as Iraq 1981.)

Posted by Paul Tuns on May 29, 2005 in International Affairs | Permalink


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Perhaps Chavez is of the mindset that burning oil to produce electricity is a bafflingly silly way to generate power especially considering his entire nation is running on oil sales. The wells won't last forever. And using profits now to develop technology for tomorrow is a logical idea.

Chavez is the leader of a democratic nation and if they choose to develop nuclear power like every other well to do nation then they are fully within their rights to do so. The fact that they suggest they can get support from Iran is a sign that perhaps the US could be a little more co-operative and not forcing some kind of a stand off endangering the entire continent because he is friends with the old-timer Castro.
Canada could sell some CANDU reactors to them...like we have done with China, India and Turkey.
Chavez might be blunt and disagree with the US on a number of issues, but he isn’t a madman.

Posted by: Gamblog | 2005-05-30 10:37:34 AM

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