A peek at the Persian peak

February 13, 2007

Andrew Sullivan, an occasionally sane conservative, displays a nifty NYT graphic on his blog today. He does so in order to make the point that Iran is surprisingly vulnerable to economic pressure, a happy circumstance which could permit effective non-military pressure to make them abandon their nuclear weapons program.

Fair enough. But I draw a different conclusion from this graph. Iran peak oil

In the runup to the current war , to my eternal discredit, I shared the near universal assumption that Saddam had WMDs. Oh, by the time Rumsfeld set his light show going in downtown Baghdad, I knew Hussein had no nuclear program, and nothing to speak of in the way of chemicals or biologicals. But I remained confident that he’d kept a few lousy tons of mustard gas squirrelled away somewhere. Not enough to threaten anyone but a handful of Kurds, but enough to mollify an American press eager to find post hoc justification for the war they’d praised and urged.

Now there’s the same near universal assumption that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. And again, I’m inclined to share it. After what America just did to Iraq (and didn’t do to PRNK), they’d have to be kind of crazy not to develop them. But once again, there is no evidence whatsoever for the proposition.

Teheran says they are just building a civilian nuclear power program. It’s not uncommon for war junkies, or even for ordinary folks, to find that ridiculous: why would they need nuclear plants when they’re sitting on a bonanza of sweet crude?

The NYT diagram provides the shut-your-mouth answer. Within a couple of decades, all their bonanza will not be enough to serve their domestic needs. They really do need peaceful nukes. For all we know, energy security might be all they’re really up to.


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