Iranian human rights activists: “Iran's power quest is a diversion for the West”

Iranian human rights activists Banafsheh Zand and Kaveh Taheri spoke about why Iran’s nuclear program is not for peaceful purposes like the regime claims that they are. “If there is a way that an oppressed person can instill terror and fear into the hearts of such disbelievers, this form of terror is permissible and is sacred,” Hassan Abbasi, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp Commander, stated.
Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

In an exclusive interview with JerusalemOnline, Iranian human rights activists Banafsheh Zand and Kaveh Taheri related that in their view, it is strange that Iran wants nuclear energy: “The Islamic Republic and hence its people would be far better off pursuing non-nuclear alternatives at least in terms of the economy.”  

Nevertheless, they stress that Tehran has spent billions of dollars to develop heavy water reactors, production plants, uranium enrichment plants, and military sites: “Compliance with agreements not to engage in weapon-related work is sketchy at best. Just 2% of electricity production is from the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, according to a Tasnim news agency report in April 2016, citing the CEO of the plant.”

According to Taheri and Zand, it is not paranoid Western conjecture to claim that the raison d’etre of Iran’s nuclear program is for military purposes. “If there is a way that an oppressed person can instill terror and fear into the hearts of such disbelievers, this form of terror is permissible and is sacred,” Hassan Abbasi, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp Commander, stated. “I repeat, this form of terrorism is sacred.” Abbasi’s political vision is based on an “aggressive approach against the West” and “no compromising on nuclear issues.”

Iran’s nuclear program is not a new development. “This idea goes back to 1950s, when Iran [for the first time] became interested in using nuclear energy, although, at the time, it was only limited to university research programs,” says Ardeshir Zahedi, the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs under the Shah between the years 1966-73. According to him, the Shah believed that with the large exploitation of petroleum, Iran would one day have to purchase oil for its own needs.

However, Taheri and Zand believe that a lot has changed since then and that Iran has amazing alternatives to nuclear energy that could better serve the interests of the Iranian people: “Iran also has the potential to generate electricity from Biomass, Geothermal Energy, and Tidal Power in the both Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf. An Iranian expert of science and technology designed a native product of a simultaneous extraction energy system of power and water from the sea called ‘the Persian Gulf System’ according to an IRNA report.

Solar energy also has great potential in Iran. "Iran has vastly sunny expanses; it also has two deserts in the center that can supply more solar energy to Iran than it needs," wrote Iranian scholar Manda Zand Ervin in the American Thinker. "The people of Iran are vocally concerned about their environment and there are plenty of capable scientists to establish a forest of solar energy in the desert." So far, the efforts in this area have been modest. According to Taheri and Zand, “the regime could have developed a lot more solar power if it wasn’t spending like drunken sailors on its nuclear ambitions.”

“So, there is clear opportunity for cheap new energy production in relatively short order,” Taheri and Zand noted. “Contrast those opportunities with the fact that there are no big plans for nuclear power. At least none have been presented to the IAEA, which the Iranian regime is required to do to keep in compliance on its nuclear agreement. It should be obvious that the regime seeks for its nuclear capabilities to challenge world peace, not to use as a peaceful means of nuclear power. How can we expect a practical solution for peace while desires for actual power production is a ruse?”



Click Here for more reports by Rachel Avraham

Found mistakes in this report? - Click Here

JerusalemOnline News Feed