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Welcome to my blog! True to my name, Shiva the Spy, I will be your eyes and ears in Iran, bringing you detailed accounts of everyday life from my perspective. You'll have a window into the social, cultural, political, and historical aspects of the country. I will bring you the stuff that American media can't...or won't. So, check back regularly for stories, photos, commentary, and anything else your curiosity calls for.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Iranians' Views on Nuclear Issue

Here’s what many of you have been waiting for—the Iranian perspective on the nuclear issue. Although schoolwork consumes a significant chunk of my time, I managed to scrape up a bunch of comments from about 20 people ranging in age, economic status, religious beliefs, political stance, and life experience. I apologize, in advance, for awkward translations.

Does Iran have the right to produce nuclear energy?

Mahta, female, age 43, married, mother, occupation: elementary school teacher
It is definitely Iran's right to have nuclear energy. Those applying international pressure to stop our program are doing so because they want to keep us dependent, they don't want us to advance in industry. What about other countries using nuclear energy? Nobody tells them anything.

What are your thoughts on international pressure put on Iran to freeze its program? How should Iran react to such pressure?

Fakhri, female, age 57, widowed, mother, occupation: homemaker
They want us to need them; they want to have everything, and we remain impoverished, underdeveloped, and reliant on them. Nuclear energy is like a razor-sharp knife-it can be used for both good and bad. This knife can save several lives through surgery, or can end a single life through murder. The U.S. is saying that if Iran has this sharp knife, it will use it for murder; but if America has it, it will be used for good. They cannot think of Iran using the knife as a doctor, but instead as a murderer. We don't want nuclear energy for war, we want to use it for positive results.

Iran must stand firm, demanding why the U.S. and others can have nuclear energy, but we can't. It's as if they're saying, "I can have this, but you cannot. If you ever need this, come to us, and we may or may not give it you. But most likely, we won't give it to you."

Now that Iran’s case has been referred to the UN Security Council, the possibility of economic sanctions has come up. What are your thoughts on sanctions?

Reza, male, age 31, single, occupation: businessman
We've been under American sanctions for years, an action that resulted in major losses for the U.S., especially its wheat industry. Iran was a significant importer of American wheat, but since 1979, the U.S. has been forced to sell off its excess supply at much lower rates. In any case, we can bear sanctions; the strings haven't snapped, yet. As Iran's leading trade partner, Germany will suffer most, considering it exports a significant amount of products to Iran, and imports plenty of dry goods. Germany would lose billions of dollars in profits, which is why it's interested in striking a deal in this issue.

Should Iran consider halting its program, in order to avoid economic sanctions?

Nabby, male, age 22, single, university student, major: civil engineering
We should not—in any way—stop, divert, or slightly change our nuclear program just for temporary gains because it is our absolute right to advance in science and technology. It’s a cause worth dying for in war, rather than becoming slaves.

What benefits do you see in nuclear energy? Can Iran go without?

Elaheh, female, age 38, married, mother, occupation: homemaker
When Edison invented electricity, could we have said you cannot use your discovery? That you must go back to lighting candles?

What about confidence-building measures involving activities outside of Iran, such as the Russia’s proposal to enrich uranium on its soil?

Flor, female, age 45, married, mother, occupation: retired high school teacher,
petrochemical engineer
This isn't even a resolution. You're still dependent. All that's needed is for Iran to say something Russia doesn't like, then Russia will cut off the enrichment. This is like cutting off water. It would virtually paralyze us, and impoverish us further. Meaning, they can do whatever they want. We enriched uranium only up to our necessary levels for research, not higher.

Are you concerned that Iran may be at risk of attack by another nation?

Morteza, male, age 50, married, father, war vet, occupation: electrical engineer
No, because attacking Iran will make things harder for them, not for us. An attack will make no difference for us.

What is your opinion on the proliferation of nuclear weapons?

Khaleh Shaffi, female, age 70, occupation: everyone's auntie
We are Muslim, it is haram (prohibited) to kill in masses-we don't have this, we don't want this, and we oppose all who have it.

What are your political views, in general? Who did you vote for in the last presidential election?

Alireza, male, age 18, university student, major: civil engineering
If I hear logical ideas, then I'll agree. For instance, Ahmadinejad's claim that America should build confidence, rather than Iran, since America is the one with nuclear weapons, makes sense.

I voted for Rafsanjani because I wasn't familiar with the other candidates. I didn't want to risk a worse situation than what we went through with him. At first, I didn't like Ahmadinejad, but now I do, and regret not voting for him. So far, he's accomplished at least 50-percent of his promises. The administration now is much better to be up against a force like America; I think we can make a 180-degree improvement because of this.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job!

I wanted to really to know what are the ideas of average people in Iran about the nuclear issue.

4:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


our people realy think like this, I am happy that we are not giving up. But, the only problem is Ahmadinejad's word about wiping Israel from the map, that I think he made from lack in political knowledge, and is used in all of the media here when broadcasting any news about Iran.

4:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The world hs paid apmle attention to President Ahmadinejad's declaration that Israel must be destroyed. Less attention has been apid to Iranian leaders pronouncements on exactly how Israel would be "eliminated by one storm," as Ahmadinejad has promised.
Former President Rafsanjani has explained that "the use oa a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam." The logic is impeccable, the intention is clear. A nuclear attack would effectively destroy tiny Israel, while any retaliation lauched by a dying Israel would have no effect on an Islamic civilization of a billion people stretching from Mauritania to Indonesia.
As it races to acquire nuclear weapons (and I can see no other truth by the way the Iranian government has acted), Iran makes clear that if there is any trouble, the Jews will be the first to suffer. "we have announced that whereever (in Iran) America does make any mischief, the first place we target will be Israel, " said Gen. Dehghani, atop Revolutionary Guards commander. Hitler was only slightly more direct when he annonuced seven months before invading Poland that, if there was anohter war, "the result will be...the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe".
Two Iranian Revolutionary Guard companies were dropped at a Khartoum Miltary Base on May 2 by C-130 Transport. These companies sent time as miltary instructors for the Lebanese Hizbullah. With the current Egyptian/sraeli/Gaza boarder situation, Israel can only see this as a further provocationby Iran.
The Jews are not fueling the flames of war...Iran is.
Us Jews have a saying. It is "never again". Never again will we let our people be threatened. Never again will we not stand in defence of our own. Never again will we let anyone try to rise up and murder us.
Do not try to justify Irans nuclear ambtions. they are not peaceful. And if you believe they are, you are kidding yourself. Why does the second largest oil producer in the world need nuclear power? Why not solar power or wind generated power (both so popular in Europe and America--also cheaper to produce).
Rafsanjani is right in one respect....millions will die. And for what???????????//

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

r-sheen. Sorry you feel that way. I can promise you that when the time comes...I will be there.

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the rare opportunity to hear a lecture from Ahmadinejad at Universitas of Indonesia. His thoughts were well-expressed, cleverly-conveyed. At the end of his lecture, a dozen of Indonesian students waived banners saying: 'Iran in Our Hearts' and 'Nuclear 4 Power'. No wonder the Iranians are supporting him.

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really loved the response people gave to your questions. This means almost everybody is behind Ahmadinejad and the nuclear program which I think is Iran's right to have.

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question for you Shiva. Why did the Iranian Government refuse the EU offer for light water reactors (used for power, that does not produce the material that can be used for nuclear weapons)?
I do not see how this offer can be seen as Ahmadinejad suggested"exchanging chocolate and walnuts for gold".
In the West, this refusal points to Iran covertly producing nulcear material for a weapons program.
Why does Iran need nuclear weapons? It wouldn't be, as Samuel ben Jacob has suggested, "to wipe Israel off the planet" now would it.
I would be interested to see a similar article asking Iranian citizens about Jews, Israel, and the Jewish community still living in Iran What they think; have they ever met;epiriences; feelings; possible future?

4:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nuclear power is only used for weapons and energy. And Iran does not need nuclear energy. Why doesn't Iran develop other technologies that would better benefit their economy instead?

People must understand that the world has lost trust in conservative Islam. They are scared of it, even though deep down it has peaceful and honorable intentions. And then the Iranian president says comments about how Isreal should be wiped off the face of the Earth. Its makes for bad PR and less trust.

I'm an American and I know my country over reacts, but if Europe is concerned then their might be some truth to the claims of nuclear weapons. America has a fear of WW3. We are trying to prevent war. Some times greed gets in the way, but through the WTO and the UN we are kept at check. But our intentions are to prevent war. The world has been free of major war through the deaths of many Americans in Vietnam, Korea, and the Middle East. We have shed blood to keep the world peaceful.

If Isreal thinks that Iran has nuclear weapons then they will attack Iran, causing major war throughout the Arab world. If the Iranian prsident cares about his people and Muslims he would stop trying to get nuclear power. Iran can build wind and solar generators and become a world leader in that energy source instead.


5:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do find it amusing while Iranians rant about "god given right to technology" their country spends billions on nuclear power while still importing GASOLINE. How insane is this? Why doesn't Iran take care of this simple little "right of technology" before spending billions on nuclear power.

The Iranian government is functioning the same way as Nazi Germany. Externalize all problems, give the people a target to hate, cloud their minds with false visions of greatness and achievment to distract them from the real problems... their lousy failed leadership. All smoke and mirrors, and Iranian suckers are falling for it.

It is said Israel has at least 100 war heads. I'm sure many know the story of Samson's death?... Well, that is Israel's plan. If Israel is nuked by ANY muslim nation the top 100 most populated muslim cities will become glass. The Islamic world would not survive intact as has been suggested, and maybe not at all.

In the end it is in EVERYONES best interest if things never progress to that point. Even if that out come is ultimately a fantastic gift to those who would like to see Islam destroyed, and may well be the ultimate goal of those pulling strings behind closed doors around the world.

Iranian leadership may in the end be monkeys doing a little dance just as others have planed.

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is pretty stupid how their refining capabilities suck. i don't think you're in a position to judge the way iranians feel about their leadership. iranians are not stupid, they know when their leaders are blowing smoke up their ass. They like the president, not because he bashes israel, but because he does a lot to fight corruption and help the poor, pretty much keeping his promises which is more than i can say about other world leaders.

Oh and you make a good point about Israel, they ARE a bunch of psychos. and you bet your ass they would do the same to christian countries if they weren't bobbing each others knobs.(btw i'm sure you know israel has the whole world strategically mapped out, not just muslim countries, kinda unsettling isn't it.) But in the end you are right, lets withold technological advancement from muslim nations because israel might get mad and kill everyone.

something i've learned about muslims is that if you fuck with them, they will fuck with you back. they wont bitch or complain. the answer? stop fucking with muslims. it is possible to coexist beleive it or not. and no, it's not by bulldozing palestinian homes and setting up shop.

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find these Iranians quoted here to be sound in their logic, and proper in their ambitions.

As for the gentleman speaking of Israel, you criticize Iran seeking nuclear power to make energy, and yet Israel itself has plenty of nuclear weapons,and maintains them under very shadowy and contested circusmtance. Why this double standard? Why is Iran not allowed to have peaceful nuclear power, and yet Israel can have military nuclear power (nuclear weapons)?

(I say this from the U.S.A.)

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for Iran, before long their oil will run out and they will truely have no real ecconomic prospects.

Too bad money invested in nuclear power has no real return historically. It's generally a break even prospect, other then potential leverage gained by having nuclear weapons.

The first nuclear power plant built in the US cost more money to dismantle and dispose of then it's generated electricity was worth over it's entire life span, but I guess that probably won't be a problem in Iran, like USSR/Russia, they have little or no real polution regulations.

With the right leadership Iran could have had one of the highest standards of living in the world, between the peoples' potential and the natural resources. =[

2:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No.. I meant what I said "The right leadership"

What exactly that would have needed to be I don't know, but it isn't what Iran had or has now.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My problem is that Iran has been offered a deal, several deals in which keeps nuclear power, it has rejected them all in favor of keeping Uranium Enrichment, which leads to greater questions. What frightens us in the West is the Uranium Enrichment Program the refusal for inspectors in the plants. The Russian deal, which I personally support, allows Iran to have all the nuclear power plants it wants, long as Uranium enrichment is carried out in Russia. This means that Iran is in no means depenent on the Good Graces of America (who I admit, as given Iran reasons for caution) and does mean America has to trust the Good Graces of a nation that routines refers to it as "The Great Satan" (think objectively for a moment, if a group of people constantly called you the Great Satan and then started reaching for techonogly to make the ultimate weapon, how would you feel?) Uranium enrichment is the gret chokeing point here, it is the major step that makes a nuclear power plant a potentional supplier for nuclear bombs. Here in the U.S. we have finially gotten used to the idea that the we no longer have to worry about Russian Bombs slamming down on our heads at any moment, that the world is no longer held hostage by the possible mutal suicide of two opposing powers. The drive to avoid going back to this powers much of our foreign policy, we simply do not wish to spend another 50 years staring at others across the abyess of nuclear destruction. Iran in the meantime as no reason to suspect the U.S. of doing anything but attempting to cripple it while maintaining armies all around it. Both nations desire security, but will only get it from compromise and a mutal deal. For myself I believe the best bet would be an agreement to normalize relations, reopen trade, etc, etc the whole 9 yards, on certain condaintions. No more weapon shipments to groups that are internationally listed as terrorist, accepting the Russian deal on Uranium Enrichment. In return the U.S. swears in writing to respect Iranian sovernity and agree to non-aggression against Iran.(unless Iran assualt a US ally, there are limits) There are times when it is necessary to engage in war, as a former Marine, I understand this better than most, but also as a former Marine I understand better than most what going to war means and why if it can be avoided honorably and decently, it should be avoided.

5:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

first of all nobody seem to get it right here. the question is not about nuclear power it is about proliferation and its market for the countries that already have the technology. the matter is about bussiness but nobody see it because they could very well disguise it.

12:48 PM  

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