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Iran Opens Its First Nuclear Power Plant 496

Posted by Soulskill
from the let-the-good-times-roll dept.
pickens writes "VOA reports that Russian and Iranian engineers have begun loading fuel into Iran's first nuclear power plant located in the southern city of Bushehr amid international fears that Iran will use the facility to make nuclear weapons, a charge both Tehran and the Kremlin vehemently deny. Officials say it will take about two to three months for the plant to start producing electricity once all of the fuel rods have been moved into the reactor. The production capacity of the plant will initially be 500 megawatts, but will eventually increase to 1,000 megawatts. Earlier this year, Washington criticized Russia for going ahead with the planned opening of the plant amid global disagreement and concern over Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program. Moscow did, however, back a fourth round of sanctions against Tehran, which called for Iran to stop uranium enrichment."
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Iran Opens Its First Nuclear Power Plant

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  • by arcite (661011) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:19AM (#33330976)
    Get nuclear weapons and the USA will not only leave you alone, they will give you AID money by the billions, initiate free trade deals, and otherwise try to be your best friend.

    M.A.D. for a safer world! Today!

  • Offhand, there was that whole thing with the hostages in the embassy back in the 80s. That's all I got.

  • by bsDaemon (87307) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:29AM (#33331006)

    They, along with Syria, are (allegedly) a major source of funding and weapons for Hezballah. So Israel cares, which makes the US Government care. But I really don't give a shit. If they're powering their country with nukes, then they can burn less oil, which means more can be available on the market. It's simple Scarface economics -- "don't get high off your own supply."

  • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:39AM (#33331048) Journal
    Well they arrested some US soldiers that were bouncing around in their coastal waters and then, er, gave them back a few days later after questioning.

    Okay, seriously? They've not done anything much, it's that they exist. First off, they're too big to easily threaten and they also have means of responding - for example, they could seal the Strait of Hormuz which would majorly fuck up the US's oil supplies. Secondly, unless Russia helps out, you can't impose serious sanctions on them. End result: A country that doesn't have to do what you tell it to. And that's a big problem when you want to dominate the area. For example, Iran is primarily Shiite. So is a large proportion of the population of Iraq which is next door. Therefore it is natural for the nation of Iraq to form close ties with Iran. For another example, Israel has a policy of being the baddest bastards in their region and being able to threaten everyone else as their security policy. Again, Iran is large, powerful and getting better equipped every day. If Russia ever agrees to sell them modern air-defence weapons, then Israel's ability to bomb the fuck out of the country is severely diminished. If they ever get a nuclear weapon, then Israel will have to treat them as a military equal.

    Basically, Iran is a "big kid". And that's a problem for the other "big kid" in the playground which is the US-Israelli bloc. The latter want to dominate the area, but so long as there's someone who isn't easy to push around, then the littler kids have someone they can maybe hide behind or try to become friends with. The US and Israel want themselves to be the only game in town. Iran, unless it can be kept down, means that there's another.
  • Let's see (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:41AM (#33331056)

    That's 6849 barrels of oil per day they are going to save (the rough amount required to produce 500MW per day). At $74 a barrel that's about half a million dollars per day. Every day. Oil that they can now export to China and Russia that otherwise would have been burned up in domestic consumption. It doesn't take long before a plant like this pays for itself.

    But oh, mention Iran and nuclear in the same paragraph and all the paranoid uninformed imperialist types appear, yelling "nuclear weapons!". Despite nuclear energy (or any other form of alternative energy) being an extremely sane choice for an oil exporting nation.

  • by hoshino (790390) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:43AM (#33331064) Homepage

    An embassy which was run basically as a CIA safe house plotting to sabotage the Iranian government. Citation: Legacy of Ashes [amazon.com]

  • Remain Calm! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ovanklot (715633) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:45AM (#33331070)

    I mean, we could always trust the Russians to work in our best interests. Also, they were never sneaky about anything. Always truthful and honest, them Russians.

    And Iran only threatened to wipe The West off the map, starting with Israel, with any means at their disposal. And that they could make a nuclear bomb if they wanted to, because it was a right granted to them from Allah.

    Not to mention that they're playing the North Korean game of "let's talk" / "we're not talking to you anymore" / "let's talk" / "we're not talking to you anymore" with the UN. Remember what North Korea has now after a few years of that? Ah, yes, The Bomb.

    And all this in the hands of a fanatic regime, intent on spreading Islam through force, feared and hated even by most other Islamic nations, all the while being one of the most horrible human-rights violators of our time.

    But there's nothing to fear. They're not after the bomb. They say they are, but there's nothing to worry about. It's just a nuclear power plant.

    REMAIN CALM!

  • by HangingChad (677530) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:46AM (#33331078) Homepage

    If Israel struck the plant and killed a bunch of Russian engineers, that would be bad. If the strike put a radioactive plum in the air that drifted over part of China or India, that would be worse.

    Not to mention the fact that if the Russians really got cheesed off they could just sell Iran warheads.

    Any country with enough money and enough time is going to be able to acquire nuclear weapons. We might have to face the fact that there may not always be a military solution.

    Canada doesn't have nuclear weapons, they don't feel the need to squander their collective treasure maintaining 12 aircraft carrier groups and they seem to get along just fine. Let some other country pick up some of the tab for being the world's policeman. We need that money here.

  • by AnonymousClown (1788472) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:49AM (#33331090)
    Also, there was the removal of a Democratic Iranian Government by the US to install the Shah.

    Right now, we're just dealing with karma of past actions by our government.

    If we kept our noses out of others business, the World would probably be a much different place and there would be less hatred towards us.

  • Re:Remain Calm! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AnonymousClown (1788472) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:55AM (#33331124)

    Not to mention that they're playing the North Korean game of "let's talk" / "we're not talking to you anymore" / "let's talk" / "we're not talking to you anymore" with the UN.

    The UN is Codependent - they get off on it.

  • by BangaIorean (1848966) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:55AM (#33331128)
    They keep threatening to wipe an entire country off the map. And that country happens to be an American ally. Moreover, they're ruled by nutjobs and mad mullahs who keep saying things like "South Koreans should be slapped till they become human", "Australians are a bunch of cow herders", and so on. These are official statements from the Iranian regime, remember. The regime is seriously insane and unstable. And yeah - they keep passing sentences to have people stoned to death even today.
  • Total BS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by helbent (1244274) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:55AM (#33331132)
    I always shake my head and ruefully smile when I see these fear-mongering stories about hyped-up fears of “An Iranian Nuke in our Future!” and similar drivel. The IAEA inspects the program at ever single step of the way and of something is veering off course, everyone in the UN and the US will know. So far that hasn't happened, and my guess is that it won't.

    For the record there's no simple, direct way to readily convert fuel-grade uranium into weapons-grade uranium, short of building a breeder reactor, and that's not exactly something you can do in your backyard or garage. Fuel-grade uranium doesn't go into a nuke, and you don't put weapons-grade uranium into your reactor, unless you want a really big “boom”.

    As it stands, the only nation in the Mideast that illegally built a nuclear weapons program outside of international purview was Israel, and they got some of the initial materials to do so by smuggling the uranium from a refinement facility in Apollo, Pennsylvania in the late 1960's (c.f.: The Samson Option by Seymour Hersh). Yet you never hear two peeps about the “destabilizing influence in the Mideast” of that nuclear bandit state in the press, do you?

    Also, let's not forget that the entire [crooked] line of thought is brought to you by the same perpetual prevaricators who threw up a lot of hot air about “Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq!” and “Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan!” and then were trying to beat the drums for a war with Syria under the pretense of “Saddam moved all the weapons to Syria (and Iran!)” It's the same old, tired media meme rehashed once again for a petty excuse to get us involved in another war we don't need and can't afford.

    For my part, I'd like to see every media editor that purports that very same lie to be strung up, just so the air can be cleared a bit.
  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:56AM (#33331136) Homepage

    Their real crime was overthrowing the CIA asset [wikipedia.org] who was running the country on behalf of the US. That and living on top of a substantial oil reserve.

  • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:58AM (#33331146) Journal

    Don't disagree with the gist of your argument, but just want to say that the Russians aren't going to sell Iran nuclear warheads. That's too big and gives up Russia's powerful bargaining position in the area. What Russia has threatened to do and which Iran would love, is for Russia to sell them some modern anti-aircraft defence systems. Right now, Israel can credibly threaten to bomb Iran (and has threatened). If Russia follows through and sells them modern systems then Israels ability to threaten is somewhat reduced.
  • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice&gmail,com> on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:59AM (#33331152)
    Im guessing the fact that the US (and the UK) had kept a brutal dictator in power in Iran for several decades prior to that, plus the fact that the US were punishing Iranians for overthrowing said dictator (freezing Iranian assets in the US) had nothing to do with the hostage crisis...
  • Re:Let's see (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:59AM (#33331154)

    That's 6849 barrels of oil per day they are going to save (the rough amount required to produce 500MW per day). At $74 a barrel that's about half a million dollars per day. Every day. Oil that they can now export to China and Russia that otherwise would have been burned up in domestic consumption. It doesn't take long before a plant like this pays for itself.

    Let's see. half a million a day. About $185 million a year.

    Cost of the plant - more than 3 billion euros. Call if $4 billion.

    What interest do Iranian bonds pay? 1%? Less? More? Let's assume 1% for grins. Which adds up to about 25 years to pay back the cost of the plant.

    Well, it'll be paid back that quickly if there are no operating costs, or refueling costs, or anything like that...

    Hardly my definition of "it doesn't take long before a plant like this pays for itself".....

  • Re:Remain Calm! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:00AM (#33331158)

    So, basically, what you are saying here is that you are incredibly easy to manipulate with standard media techniques.

    Were you also one of those zombie imbeciles waving a flag as we invaded Iraq?

    Or are you the worst kind of all; the sort who still refuses to acknowledge that we were lied to?

    Did you miss the last 8 years of bullshit? Have you learned nothing about government lies?

    Are you under 18 or just retarded?

    -FL

  • by Kjella (173770) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:04AM (#33331184) Homepage

    For example, Iran is primarily Shiite. So is a large proportion of the population of Iraq which is next door. Therefore it is natural for the nation of Iraq to form close ties with Iran.

    Heh, Iran and Iraq was at war for 8 years in the 1980s including chemical warfare. Saddam was no friend of Iran either, for as long as he was in power. They're both muslims like most of the Middle East but I don't think they're all that close. Ahmadinejad seems like the last with any real military ambition, which is what makes him scary. Oh there's dictatorships other places but they seem mostly content with ruling their own little patch of land. And him alone I wouldn't worry much about either, what I do fear is if he manages to trigger some sort of christian-muslim war instead of just Iraq vs Israel or whatever.

  • by kestasjk (933987) * on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:08AM (#33331198) Homepage
    The US have said they don't see this nuclear plant as a proliferation risk. We should be for this thing, because if they can get nuclear power and it doesn't help them get nuclear weapons that removes any reason for Ahmedinejad to enrich
  • Re:Let's see (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:10AM (#33331206)

    Hardly my definition of "it doesn't take long before a plant like this pays for itself".....

    You're forgetting to include 500MW of electricity they didn't have before. Electricity that will be a) sold to pay for the plant and b) will permit economic growth. If you're going to analyze the whole picture, you have to consider everything.

    I was just mentioning that this electricity is not being obtained by burning oil, allowing them to export more oil than if they had built a 500MW oil burning plant. This "savings" is a "bonus" for choosing nuclear over oil. All other things being equal, an oil burning plant would have had to be paid for too - they're not free.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:11AM (#33331216)

    "Right now, we're just dealing with karma of past actions by our government.

    If we kept our noses out of others business, the World would probably be a much different place and there would be less hatred towards us."

    It's sad that so few Americans understand this.

  • by heffrey (229704) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:12AM (#33331218)

    A more pertinent question would be to ask what the US did to Iran. And the answer was that the USA killed off Iran's fledgling democracy in 1953 and thus secured a never ending period of hate and distrust.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:13AM (#33331234)

    What has Iran ever done to us

    They have oil. And they are not Christians.

  • by schwit1 (797399) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:19AM (#33331254)
    "If we kept our noses out of others business, the World would probably be a much different place and there would be less hatred towards us." And a lot more people would be speaking Japanese or German or Russian.
  • by BlueParrot (965239) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:24AM (#33331276)

    While it could theoretically be done, this particular plant is not very useful for making bomb material.

    In order for plutonium produced by reactors to be useful for weapons it needs to be extracted from a reactor fairly shortly after being produced, or otherwise it will be contaminated with heavier plutonium isotopes that generate a lot of heat and neutrons, making the weapon design dramatically more difficult (so difficult in fact that it is probably easier to start all over and make decent material ). For this reason plants used to make bomb material are usually smaller and built to be able to refuel quickly. Attempting to separate the plutonium isotopes after they have been mixed would likely be more difficult than "simply" enriching uranium, so that's not much of a worry either.

    It is possible to build large reactors that can function both as power-plants and bomb producers, but this generally requires them to be designed so they can change their fuel bundles while operating ( The UK and former Soviet used to do this ). For a large pressurized water reactor, like this one, it is however not practical since it would require you to shut down and restart it to replace the fuel at frequent intervals, and for such a large reactor doing that takes ages, and it would be obvious to the outside world what is going on ( you don't just hide the fact that a few gigawatt of spill heat suddenly went away ).

    Basically of all the types of power producing reactors in widespread use in the world today, a large pressurized water reactor is probably the least suitable for making plutonium. It is theoretically possible, but it is not even a fraction as big a concern as the uranium enrichment facilities Iran is also operating. Those facilities can be used to create highly enriched U-235, which is pretty much the material that is easiest to turn into a nuclear weapon. Using plutonium can have advantages for advanced weapon designs, but it is a lot easier to do with uranium.

  • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:30AM (#33331300) Journal

    What has Iran ever done to us

    Read some history.

    Well that answers what the US has done to Iran, but not so much the other way around. Okay...

    Let's start with the storming of the US embassy and hostage taking, and go from there, shall we?

    Your starting point is the seizing of the US embassy during a revolution when the US had just seized Iranian assets, was supporting the dictator of the country and when there are peristent rumours that the embassy in question was containing rather more than diplomatic staff. Now, as you say, let's go on from there and see what other crimes Iran has perpetuated on the US people. The floor is yours...

  • by Rude Turnip (49495) <[valuation] [at] [gmail.com]> on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:33AM (#33331318)

    Bullshit. Defending yourself is a completely different scenario.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:35AM (#33331332)
    I believe the point was to leave other countries alone to deal with their own internal problems, rather than acting like big brother to the whole world.
  • by professionalfurryele (877225) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:39AM (#33331346)

    Unfortunately when the Ottoman Empire collapsed the West redrew the map of the Middle East without much attention being paid to ethnic or religious divides. Iraq under the Ba'athist was dominated to an extent by the Sunni minority. The regions bordering Iran are majority Shi'ite. With the fall of Saddam's Ba'athist regime solidarity among Shi'ites complicates matters of security, especially when you consider that during the first Gulf War the allied forces incited a primarily Shi'ite rebellion inside the South of Iraq only to abandon it once Kuwait was liberated.
    The West's past conduct hasn't exactly endeared us to the Shi'ites in the south of Iraq, and Iran is certainly a natural ally after all we screwed them over as well by installing the Shah and generally interfering where we weren't wanted. The whole situation is a messy series of botch-ups by everyone involved.

  • Re:Let's see (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:49AM (#33331394)

    Iran's foreign policy is by no means sweet and innocent. But then again neither is US foreign policy. Remember the US doesn't just talk about removing regimes, it actually does it (or tries to).

    And this is what happens when you reduce everything to generalities. Iran speaks of wiping out a nation. America talks about replacing leaders. Ahmadinejad is not looking to put a different set of Jews in power in Israel. You use one quote for your straw-man reply. Why not compile a list of speeches by top Iranian officials and see just how far they're willing to go.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:55AM (#33331430)

    I can't understand why people mention that Israel supported Hamas as if it's an excuse for Iran's behaviour today. Talk about a logical fallacy...

    Yes, Israel supported Hamas - very briefly, during Hamas's founding, as a more moderate alternative to Fatah, who back then were commiting suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks like Hamas has done in recent years. In short, Israel - again, very briefly - supported Hamas due to not having a crystal ball and seeing their true aims - call it stupidity, even.

    But that has nothing to do with why Iran supports Hamas and Hezbollah. Iran supports these groups knowing fully what their mission is. Iran supports these groups knowing that their aim is to kill innocent people. Iran also knows that they are listed as terrorist groups by the EU and US. Iran isn't supporting them due to stupidity like Israel, it's due to sheer hatred and their wish to see innocent people die.

    Fuck Iran.

  • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:56AM (#33331434) Journal

    Iran is not the crazy state that you hear about in the media. You can pretty much discount much of the mainstream media for actual assessments. For better analysis you want to read the financial news or paid risk analysis groups like Stratfor [stratfor.com] whose customers aren't after entertainment but actual assessments for their business and therefore have a critical incentive to deliver accurate information.

    Doesn't mean we wont see military action however. Israel has a tactical advantage in being thought willing to make a unilateral strike against Iran, so whether or not they are, or whether they are merely bluffing, we cannot know. We can know that the US government considers it a real risk however, due to the frantic running around they've done trying to defuse the situation, sign up countries to support non-military options such as sanctions, trying to negotiate extra time in place of Israel's demands and, tellingly, media blitzes on how dastardly Iran is just in case they really do get sucked into a war by Israel.

    It really does seem that only a balance of military power will reign in Israel's behaviour. Which is a terrible inditement of the Israeli government. The main concern is that Israel may attempt to prevent this happening.
  • by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @10:00AM (#33331458) Homepage Journal

    They keep threatening to wipe an entire country off the map

    - while they are only threatening, the US HAS DONE SO.

    US has wiped a country off a map, it was called Iraq. You can argue all you want about Saddam being a terrible person, but during Saddam, Iraq HAD ELECTRICAL POWER. Which is insanely important if you live in that EXTREMELY HOT part of the world.

    You don't understand HOW HOT, it's not Texas or Alabama or Arizona, or Mexico, it is FUCKING hot. Iraq had people EMPLOYED. Nobody was EXPLODING BOMBS in markets during the day.

    Now people are out of job, bombs are exploding almost daily, people are dying ALL THE TIME. There IS no electrical power, no matter what the US tells you right now, that Iraq has more MW output than it had during Saddam, this output is NOT making it to any actual apartments. The infrastructure is destroyed, no WIRES, OK?

    AFAIC USA HAS DESTROYED IRAQ.

    So you know what? USA should SHUT THE FUCK UP about Iran 'threatening' anybody, USA has done much much much worse, it ACTUALLY DESTROYED a country.

    Anybody without nuclear weapons that has any resources USA is interested in is in danger and should acquire all the military power they can and should unite against the actual aggressor, which United States has shown to be over and over and over and over. It's just a fact.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @10:14AM (#33331522)

    They, unlike others, will be MUCH more likely to USE "The Bomb" than many of the other players that have it- or "sell" it to someone that will (Never forget that this bunch "funds" the terrorist crowd...). That alone is enough to give anyone pause that understands what having "The Bomb" actually translates to.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @10:19AM (#33331554)

    I stopped reading at "According to Noam Chomsky"

  • by bsDaemon (87307) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @10:21AM (#33331560)

    The Israeli version is called the IDF. Just because they're state actors doesn't make them any more legitimate. Lest we forget, they repeatedly attacked the USS Liberty, flying under flag in international waters, in an attempt to destroy NSA recordings of sigint mass-executions of Arab civilians by the IDF during the Six-day War in 1967.

  • by sjbe (173966) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @10:21AM (#33331562)

    they could seal the Strait of Hormuz which would majorly fuck up the US's oil supplies

    No it wouldn't. It would screw up PRICES but the US actually gets fairly little oil from the middle east. Only Saudi Arabia is in the top 5 exporters of oil to the US and I suspect they might take issue with Iran screwing up the oil market. Furthermore the US has ample military means of responding to such an overt threat. The US doesn't really want to tangle with Iran but Iran REALLY doesn't want to tangle with the US military.

    Therefore it is natural for the nation of Iraq to form close ties with Iran.

    Except they fought a long a bloody war and hate each other. Otherwise you might have a point.

  • by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @10:27AM (#33331592)

    Yes, the world would be different. It is a pity that you've lost the context of why these interventions occurred.

    Let me remind you of "context" in one word: Oil. Using the "we have to 'contain' the soviet world takover bid" marketing line to sell the move under the fear label - no different to the WMD "context" used to invade Iraq, again, for oil.

    Here is more context [historycommons.org] than you can poke a stick at.. how about you start by looking up the "context" around British Petroleum's role in the US-Iran conforntation.

  • by Xyrus (755017) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @10:28AM (#33331596) Journal

    Saddam was a puppet for the US. He fought our proxy war against Iran. We supplied him with the weapons to do so. We turned a blind eye to all the atrocities that were committed.

    Iraq has the taint of the US, an Iran has plenty of reasons to not like the US. Those in power might not want to share ties, but the people would probably get along just fine.

  • by Teancum (67324) <{ten.orezten} {ta} {gninroh_trebor}> on Sunday August 22, 2010 @10:36AM (#33331656) Homepage Journal

    Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration doesn't see this nuclear plant as a proliferation risk. I would dare say that there are many in America that do see this as a huge potential problem that is only going to cause problems in the future, and there were plenty of people in the "previous administration" that expressed deep concern about this power plant.

    The problem here is that we won't know if this is a problem until after Iran detonates one of their bombs, most likely on Tel Aviv or New York City. At that point it will be too late to do anything about it.

  • by demiurg (108464) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @10:41AM (#33331684) Homepage Journal

    There is a big difference between supporting a terrorist organization and supporting somebody who would eventually become a terrorist, unless you claim to be able to predict the future for a few decades.

    In addition, Noam Chomsky is not exactly an unbiased source in a matters related to Israel

  • by Nicolas MONNET (4727) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (avitlaocin)> on Sunday August 22, 2010 @10:44AM (#33331700) Journal

    you'd be speaking proper English. blimey.

  • by SakuraDreams (1427009) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @11:04AM (#33331804)

    Wrong! Stalin's plan was originally to invade Europe after Hitler destroyed all opposition in Europe. Hitler was the bad guy, Stalin was meant to be the liberator and liberate the whole of Europe - the way Stalin liberated Poland and tried to liberate Finland in 1939. That was the plan. That plan failed because while the Soviets helped train and establish the Wehrmacht in the 30s and actively aided Hitler in the opening stages of WW2, Stalin had no idea that Hitler would turn on him so quickly. The Soviets were massing huge numbers of troops, steel bombers, heavy tanks - the Soviets had the largest number of heavy tanks in 1939 (KW1 and 2) and the largest number of bombers (TB-3). They also had the world's greatest parachute force at about 1 million trained personnel, jumping from towers became a Soviet pastime in the 30s. The SU had virtually no civilian factories, they were preparing for an all out war. The typical view of defensive war seen in Russia was a war fought on the enemy's land - as depicted by Alexander Nevsky. All these were offensive weapons and tactics. When Hitler attacked these forces were incapable of using defensive tactics, they were not even blowing up bridges because Stalin had been building bridges in the 30s to help move his forces forward. Anyhow the Soviet plan was to let the West bleed itself out on Hitler, then the Soviet Union would liberate the European proletariat after the Western European masters and trade unions were gone, and establish a socialist system in every European country. This would have happened after WW2 had it not been for the fact that the USA got in the way and prevented further Soviet imperialism. The SU was more than capable of going West and taking out the French, British and remnant German forces.

    Ideally for the US, the US could have let Stalin have all of Europe. The USA would have easily been able to trade with a socialist Europe and profit from it. The Americans instead risked war with the USSR and put their lives on the line for Germany, France, Britain and the rest of Western Europe. In Poland we wished the Americans would fight for us, but it would not be the case, still the American stance and containment allowed us to free ourselves when Gorbachev saw that he could no longer maintain Eastern Europe and would have to recreate the Soviet Economy on its own.

    I must also oppose the moral relativism in this thread. The SU treated its own population and the populations of conquered nations very badly.
    Tens of millions of civilians died including successful farmers (Kulaks), intelligentsia, ethnic minorities and anyone else who could oppose the Soviet Regime. One need only look at the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33 now recognised as an act of genocide (Holodomor), the massacres of POWs in places like Katyn and deliberate withholding of support by the Soviet Union for the Warsaw Uprinsing against the Nazis which lead to 150-200,000 civilian deaths as Nazi reprisals.

  • Re:Remain Calm! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by whatajoke (1625715) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @11:07AM (#33331820)

    I mean, we could always trust the Russians to work in our best interests. Also, they were never sneaky about anything. Always truthful and honest, them Russians.

    WTF? What retarded country do you belong to? Russians recently defended a massacre in south Ossetia by a US backed puppet Georgian government.

    And Iran only threatened to wipe The West off the map, starting with Israel, with any means at their disposal. And that they could make a nuclear bomb if they wanted to, because it was a right granted to them from Allah.

    US and UK are directly responsible for sabotaging a democratic coutry's chosen government. They actually wiped out an entire nation's will to govern itself.

    Not to mention that they're playing the North Korean game of "let's talk" / "we're not talking to you anymore" / "let's talk" / "we're not talking to you anymore" with the UN. Remember what North Korea has now after a few years of that? Ah, yes, The Bomb.

    Brazil got results out of Iran with no more than a week of negotiation. And then USA still kept rattling the sword over the deal. Yeah, that is exactly like North Korea.

    And all this in the hands of a fanatic regime, intent on spreading Islam through force, feared and hated even by most other Islamic nations, all the while being one of the most horrible human-rights violators of our time.

    China commits far more human rights violations. Guess which one the MSM mentions the most.

    But there's nothing to fear. They're not after the bomb. They say they are, but there's nothing to worry about. It's just a nuclear power plant.

    Fine, please disarm the only country in history of mankind to have used the nuclear bomb on civilian population, and actually considered using it again during the Korean war.

  • by blackraven14250 (902843) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @11:28AM (#33331968)
    Messing with Iran was in response to Soviet expansionism.
  • Revisionist much?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by linumax (910946) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @11:28AM (#33331972)
    If it was containment of Soviet expansion, why the hell did it start right after Mosaddeq nationalized Iranian Oil?
  • by L0rdJedi (65690) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:02PM (#33332152)

    Iran is not the crazy state that you hear about in the media.

    Really? So Mahmoud Ahmadinajed (and I don't care if it is spelled wrong) doesn't want to see the destruction of Israel and doesn't deny the holocaust happened? I think Iran is the crazy state we hear about.

    Maybe, just maybe, if this wasn't about weapons, they'd let inspectors from the IAEA check the facilities out and they'd disclose all of the facilities. You are aware that one of their nuclear plants was only "disclosed" after it was accidentally found, right?

  • by moxley (895517) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:08PM (#33332180)

    Oh, you mean after the CIA overthrew a popular, truly democratic freely elected president (Mossdegh) - and installed a brutally repressive "company man" (the Shah) with his dreaded SAVAK secret police, utilizing that embassy as a base and storage which documented all of these activities.

    Operation AJAX. It was led by Kermit Roosevelt and became the template for ousting leaders who preferred to take care of their obligations to their own people rather than selling their people out for whatever corporate/oil interests the CIA was backing; a template that the CIA would use many times over around the world.

    That "hostage crisis" where IIRC none of the hostages were killed, despite the fact that the students, after painstakingly reconstructing shredded papers learned the true extent to which America was involved in turning their country into a nightmare.

    I am an American, and I love my country - but that doesn't mean that it is okay our government to do this shit, it;s wrong, and it always comes back to haunt us.

  • Sigh. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @01:06PM (#33332572)

    And Iran only threatened to wipe The West off the map, starting with Israel, with any means at their disposal.

    No, they didn't. They said nothing of the sort.

    They said that the regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.

    This is a poetic way of expressing their wish that the government of Israel, as it is today, would become a thing of the past.

    Regardless of what I think of the geopolitics of the Middle East, it bugs me that people repeat some lies over and over again. Although Göbbels said that a lie repeated enough times becomes the truth, let's try to stick to the REAL facts in this matter.

    OK?

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @01:25PM (#33332734) Homepage

    > "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter".

    Only in the realm of pure rhetoric.

  • Re:Nope (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mrmeval (662166) <mrmeval@NOSPam.gmail.com> on Sunday August 22, 2010 @03:18PM (#33333618) Journal

    So if they could just take the rods one stormy night, mix it with the right diluent, properly package it and send it off on some missiles to Israel it's ok since it won't explode?

    I am so relieved.

  • by Teancum (67324) <{ten.orezten} {ta} {gninroh_trebor}> on Sunday August 22, 2010 @04:00PM (#33333992) Homepage Journal

    I hope that you are correct and that I am wrong. It isn't just me that has said this, and there are examples such as India and Pakistan who did precisely think kind of back-door nuclear bomb development, as did North Korea. As to if North Korea can sustain a nuclear weapon program may be in question (that is a very expensive proposition for a number of reasons), but I do think Iran has at least the fiscal capability of doing something of that nature.

    If it wasn't for historical examples to prove otherwise, I would be much more inclined to accept your proposition and simply ignore Iran altogether. Still, with a country as wealthy with petroleum as Iran, why are they building a nuclear power plant again? Don't tell me it is their concern for the environment.

  • Re: Let's Help (Score:3, Insightful)

    by daveime (1253762) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @04:12PM (#33334106)

    It is EXACTLY a question of numbers.

    You didn't like accidental stats, so try some deliberate premeditated ones courtesy of the Land of the Free & Home of the Brave (sic).

    45 murders per day in US = 16425 per year

    110600 Iraqis killed since 2003 = 13825 per year (approx.)

    1.4 to 2.2 million Vietnamese killed by US backed Pol Pot 1973 - 1978 = 360,000 per year (approx.)

    The US has NEVER cared about people, only about oil, power and control at the expense of every other poor bastard on earth.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @04:35PM (#33334304)

    Iran is not the crazy state that you hear about in the media.

    Really? So Mahmoud Ahmadinajed (and I don't care if it is spelled wrong) doesn't want to see the destruction of Israel and doesn't deny the holocaust happened? I think Iran is the crazy state we hear about.

    Maybe, just maybe, if this wasn't about weapons, they'd let inspectors from the IAEA check the facilities out and they'd disclose all of the facilities. You are aware that one of their nuclear plants was only "disclosed" after it was accidentally found, right?

    You're right. They not only refuse to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, but also refuse to even disclose whether or not they possess nuclear weapons. In fact, they even attempted to sell these 'ambiguous' nuclear weapons to apartheid South Africa. All this after they wiped a country off the map, denying it existed?!

    Wait, were we talking about Iran? I got side-tracked...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @06:45PM (#33335232)

    I think a major problem with these arguments is that people confuse what the intention of Iran and many Arab states is. Iran and most of the Arab world want to see the dismantlement of the nation of Israel. The term "destruction" is used by the U.S. media to evoke images of nuclear holocaust and make the American public feel justified in blindly supporting their government's policies. I don't believe the intention is to eradicate the land that Israel occupies but rather to remove the nation that the U.S. and its Western allies established. The land that Israel occupies is among the most holiest to muslims across the world and nuking it, would likely not go to well as that would limit the ability for pilgrimages, etc. I think most people familiar with middle eastern politics will agree that Iran and other actors want to see the land returned to the Palestinians. .

    Statements such as destroying Israel, wiping Israel off the map, may sound harsh, but most westerners are too ignorant to realize Israel is not a land but a state, i.e. governmental entity. The idea of removing Israel, so that native Muslims, i.e. Palestinians can occupy the land doesn't seem to far fetched. Its curious why U.S. and western media outlets seldom cite the Iranian president when he makes those statements. I believe one of the most interesting was when he questioned why Israel was built in the Middle east on Arab land. He questioned why they were punished for what the Germans did. He asked why if the Americans or British established Israel because of their concern for the Jews following the Holocaust did they not build the nation on their land.

    I think if we are going to really have an intelligent discussion on what is going on we need to stop with all the nonsense. I'm not saying the Iranian president is a good person, leader, etc. However, we know middle eastern resources, fuel the U.S. economy and we should be told of the real reasons of these wars, etc. is economics and hegemony. I don't think its that ridiculous to consider that the American public, if properly educated and informed about the real reasons these decisions are made, may actually support the government's response.

    The problem is the little crooked things in between politicians are doing for themselves and their friends that require us to be kept in the dark. Well, that and the realization that this form of exploitation is not sustainable.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday August 23, 2010 @02:28AM (#33337774) Journal

    You do know that nazi translates to socialist, right ?

    Yes, the full name of the party was National Socialist German Workers' Party. It should also be noted that it had been the name of the party before Hitler joined it, and that it had been much more leftist until he took leadership in it. Indeed, some veteran members of the party [wikipedia.org] fought against Hitler's "move to the right", but the dissent was crushed very quickly.

    Why wouldn't they have been allies ?

    I dunno, maybe because Soviet Union was mostly Russian, and, according to Nazist racial theories, Russians (as well as other Slavic people) were considered subhumans, only fit to be slaves (after the majority would be exterminated [wikipedia.org] to free up lands for German settlers)? Or, perhaps, because Hitler considered Bolshevism (and Marxism in general) a world domination plot by Jews, which claims were openly published in Nazi propaganda?

    Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was a pure land grab done at a right chance. While we're at it, it's worth noting that a very large chunk of Polish lands that Soviet Union occupied as an aftermath of that pact were the same lands [wikipedia.org] that Poland annexed from Soviet Russia during the 1920 Soviet-Polish war (hence why it was referred to as "liberation of Western Ukraine and Belarus" in Soviet propaganda, and there is a good deal of truth to that). Of course Soviet leaders couldn't miss the chance to regain territorial losses given the opportunity! But it doesn't mean that they shared the ideology ... Both Stalin and Hitler knew full well that they'd be at each other's throats soon enough - it was just a matter of who jumped first, and Stalin grossly misjudged the timing - but that war was inevitable was common knowledge for the Soviets from early 30s.

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