European states have reportedly drawn up a new text for the Iran Nuclear resolution. The previous draft had been rejected by China and Russia.

Unidentified officials have told The New York Times that the new text allows for Iran’s civilian nuclear program to go on, as the prohibitions have to do with activities linked with making a nuclear weapon. It also removes restrictions on the nuclear reactor being built by Russia in Bushehr. The revision is undeniably meant to get China and Russia on board and it’s likely that the Europeans will get the support of the two veto-yielding powers.

The key issue for Russia is the idea of nuclear energy and what Russia stands to gain economically if Iran is to develop its nuclear program. With Bushehr off the new proposal, the Russians will be able to complete the power plant without obstruction. If the project is successful, they stand to gain more similar contracts, as Iran is looking to expand in the nuclear field. The new text also urges Iran to go ahead with the proposals put forth to it in June, which include stopping uranium enrichment. Because it will need to enriched uranium for its nuclear energy, Iran may chose to have it enriched in Russia, as was proposed a few weeks ago. This would benefit Russia economically as well.

China has economic ties with Iran as well and may want to participate in helping Iran shape its nuclear energy program as well, reaping the economic benefits received by Russia thusfar (the Bushehr plant is worth 800 M$).

The revised resolution which is to be formally presented on Monday is more reflective of the changing reality of countries like Iran, which are undergoing new stages of development that include nuclear energy production. In the same trend is India, which is currently in the process of finalizing a deal on cooperating with the US on its own nuclear energy program.

For more, see Nuclear Energy on Rise, Iran on Board.


Nuclear threats are more and more prevalent these days with North Korea having tested a nuclear bomb in October of this year. Iran is also reported to be developing a weapons program, something its leaders deny. Terrorists are reportedly in search of nuclear capabilities; last year, Russian dissident Boris Berezovsky was quoted as saying that Chechen rebels were missing a small component to create a dirty bomb.

Obviously this is making world powers worried and they are increasing their pressure against potential nuclear proliferation. The US and Europe have been insistent on stopping Iran’s nuclear program. When North Korea tested its new capability, one of the first statements made by President Bush was a warning against passing the technology on to rogue states or terrorists. Understandably so, the West is worried.

Unfortunately, nuclear technology will not go away, and with the development of developing nations, it will be more and more present, because of its effectiveness. Not every country is blessed with the hydro-resources of Canadian province Quebec and not every country has the space required for wind-mill technology to produce electricity. Nuclear technology is compact and with the proper safety measures in place, one of the best ways of producing electricity.

Today in Jakarta, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei reminded that one of the initial reasons for going to Iraq was to dismantle Hussein’s reported WMD, notably a nuclear weapons program. Thusfar, no proof of any WMD activity has been brought forward in Iraq.

ElBaradei spoke of Iran and said that there is no urgency to act in Iran, because the state has no atomic reactor in operation and consequently can’t even go ahead with a weapons program.

“Nuclear energy alone is not a panacea, but it is likely in the near future to have an increasing role as part of the global energy mix,” said ElBaradei.

The nuclear chief at the UN was alluding to the expanding role nuclear energy is playing in Asia, with China and Indonesia undergoing a big nuclear energy surge as the countries reach a new developmental stage.

Iran may be looking for a nuclear weapons program, but it also may just be looking to power its country more effectively. That’s why its leaders hired Russian experts to build the country’s first nuclear power plant in Bushehr.

Speaking about Russia’s proposal to enrich uranium for Iran on Russian soil, Iranian Ambassador to Russia Gholamreza Ansari said that Russia would receive priority on the commissioning of the next two new energy blocks to be built in Iran.

The ambassador also spoke favorably about the Russian proposition, but said more details needed to be discussed in terms of financing the project.

Iran is, without a doubt, making the necessary adjustments in its discourse to show the West that it is ready to cooperate, and to help Russia maintain its anti-sanction position in the UN Security Council vis-à-vis Iran. It is also signaling that Russia has economic rewards to reap from its alliance with Iran.

Thusfar, Russia has been involved in Iran’s nuclear program by constructing the nuclear reactor at Bushehr. Ambassador Ansari’s comments today indicate that more high-profile contracts are likely for Russian businesses.