The Bushehr Saga
By: Kian Mokhtari
Russia’s RIA-Novosti new agency has reported further delays to the completion of Iran’s civilian nuclear plant in Bushehr. This time the excuse is the Russian banks' refusal to work with Iran. The way things have been going one can almost begin to imagine a headline in 2050, reading “crumbling structure causes more delays to Bushehr nuclear plant.”
For the love of God, what on earth is going on with the russky contractors?
Does Russia want to finish this project or are we likely to see a picture of a broadly grinning President Ahmadinejad standing next to the structure with a headline saying something like, “Yes We Can” followed by the usual rhetoric about the achievements of Iranian scientists who managed to get the power plant on-line domestically and without foreign assistance while saving the nation a mountain of forex.
Because as things are going the latter scenario is becoming most probable.
In the absence of aircraft sales to Iran the strangest looking domestically produced contraptions have taken to the air with Iranian authorities falling over themselves with glee about how they managed to reverse engineer a pterodactyl and make it go supersonic.
And the same story has repeated itself with ships, cars, computers, household goods; you name it.
Iran has second class everything other than death. Dying from sheer frustration is first class “to the max” for the Iranian public.
Iranian society just cannot understand how the West and Israel can be so hostile. Iran has not attacked anyone, has not stolen from anyone and for the best part of the last two centuries given away its oil wealth for tuppence under irresponsible and autocratic rulers.
And Russia can hardly have a gripe with Iran over anything because the Islamic Republic has been spending good money on their third rate goods from under Western sanctions.
The latest Russian shenanigans on Bushehr would also better not have anything to do with Iran’s completion of an oil platform to tap its fair share of the Caspian Sea’s energy reserves. Because Iran’s share of the riches beneath the waves is as important to Iranians as any other national point of pride like the nuclear energy or indeed the space program.
The head of the Russian state-run contractor Atomstroiexport -that is constructing the Bushehr plant- Chief Dan Belenky, has not named the uncooperative Russian banks, nor has he given a new schedule for the completion of the project.
We wonder what the Russians want to get out of “poor lonely Iran” this time around.
Russia is seriously pushing its luck because more excuses might just sway the leadership in Iran to perform a most beautifully choreographed about turn and reach out to other contractors.
What would Russia do then with a mightily pi**ed off giant staring at its soft underbelly?
It seems to all Iranians that Russia is taking Iran’s goodwill for granted and in doing so is getting beside itself with notions of self satisfaction.
Atomstroiexport must be taught that orange is not the only fruit in this multi-polar world and national expediency for nations can bring about the most unlikely international alliances.
So instead of trying Iran’s patience it will be wise for Russia to comply with the terms of its contract and provide Iran with however many zillions of megawatts per hour of nuclear generated electricity it is supposed to.