Nuclear energy is a really good thing — but only when used by the countries where its operation is seen as advantageous by the United States.
President Bush’s foreign policy views continue to be inherently contradictory and based upon unfounded claims. While claiming to recognize the importance of nuclear energy on the one hand, he is fighting against it with the other.
On March 5, addressing the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference, Bush said, “I strongly believe the United States must promote nuclear power here in the United States . If you’re interested in economic growth and environmental stewardship, there’s no better way to achieve both of them than through the promotion of nuclear power.”
He then went on to advocate its spread internationally, saying, “We’re also working with our friends overseas for the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership. I believe developing nations ought to be encouraged to use nuclear power.”
In conflict with these claims, he continues to view Iran’s nuclear energy program as a dangerous threat despite evidence to the contrary.
The National Intelligence Estimate, produced this past December by all 16 US intelligence agencies, revealed that Iran stopped nuclear weapon development in 2003.
Thus, Iran’s assertions that their nuclear program is only for peaceful, energy-related purposes have turned out to be true, contrary to Bush’s passionate claims otherwise.
The report also said it is “very unlikely” that Iran could produce enough highly enriched uranium from its nuclear program to develop a weapon before 2010.
Given the information, Bush’s hypocritical stance against Iran is unjustified. Worse still, his response reveals that he has yet to learn his lesson about the grave consequences that can result from ignoring intelligence reports.
In a December 5 article of the Irish Times, Bush is quoted as having said a month prior that people “interested in avoiding World War III” should be working to prevent Iran from having the knowledge needed to make a nuclear weapon, and “the best way to ensure that the world is peaceful in the future is for the international community to continue to work together to say to the Iranians, we’re going to isolate you.”
Bush’s manipulative use of national security rhetoric to advance his own agenda has been deceiving the American people, and often other nations, for too long.
A more accurate depiction of Iran can be found in a March 5 column in the Iranian newspaper Tehran-e Emrooz by Mohammad Ali Kursandian.
“It is obvious that today Iran, in the context of the principle of its national dignity and independent foreign policy, is pursuing the development of nuclear energy as the expression of the inalienable right of the Iranian nation,” he said.
He went on to say that the U.S. initiated U.N. resolutions against Iran, which have no legal justification, are “an illustration of the inequitable and power-oriented nature of the realities governing international relations.”
Furthermore, given the Bush administration’s unrelenting criticism of Iran, not to mention the U.S.’s nuclear weapon program, it would be understandable if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad feels insecure about his nation’s lack of nuclear weapons.
The foreign policy of the United States is in dire need of a level of equity, transparency, consistency and honesty that this administration is incapable of providing. Until drastic changes are effected, there is little hope for productive international relations.
Mary Ackerson is a senior political science major. Her column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.