It was a gift worthy of hell. "President Bush agreed yesterday to share civilian nuclear technology with India, reversing decades of U.S. policies designed to discourage countries from developing nuclear weapons," the Washington Post reported Tuesday. The lead was more understated in the New York Times: "President Bush, bringing India a step closer to acceptance in the club of nuclear-weapons states, reached an agreement on Monday with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to let India secure international help for its civilian nuclear reactors while retaining its nuclear arms."
No matter how the story was spun, it could only be read in the world's capitals as further proof that U.S. nuclear policies are grimly laughable -- thanks to policymakers in Washington who simultaneously decry and promote nuclear proliferation. And nowhere will the hypocrisy-laced ironies be more appreciated than in Tehran. .............
Touting the use of nuclear fission to generate electricity, American presidents have strived to make sharp rhetorical distinctions between atomic power and nuclear weapons technologies, despite their extensive overlap. Such reassuring distinctions now have wide credibility in Iran, as I found last month during conversations with Iranian political campaigners, clerics, bazaar merchants, shoppers, teachers and students. Almost all gave notably similar responses when asked whether their country should acquire nuclear energy.........."
A civil atomic pact, signed in 1957, initiated nuclear assistance from the United States to Iran. In 1972, President Richard Nixon urged the Shah to build nuclear power plants. The Shah fell in 1979, but after many delays the Islamic Republic resumed work on the nuclear plant near Bushehr, a project that is currently being denounced in Washington.
Isn't it kind of stupid to get after the Iranians, for developing nuclear technology when we are arming their regional enemies to the atomic teeth?