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Iran’s civil nuclear programme

June 08, 2012

THIS is apropos of Saanwal Karamat Barlaas’s letter ‘Iran’s nuclear project, (June 3) in which he says Iran should abandon its nuclear mission because it would be very costly to generate energy from nuclear technology as compared to oil and hydropower, and gives the example of Pakistan. I beg to differ.

There is no denying the fact that producing energy from uranium is an expensive and difficult process as compared to other sources. But atomic energy has to be made for the replacement of conventional fossil fuels which are likely to be exhausted during the next one hundred years.

We should not compare Iran with Pakistan which has been a nuclear power for 12 years but hardly generates four per cent of its power through nuclear technology because it is surrounded by so many problems such as political instability, corruption, leadership crisis, unemployment and terrorism.

However, Iran, on the other hand, does not face any of the above-mentioned problems.

According to a rough estimate, Iran has $155 billion forex reserve and Pakistan has just $16 billion forex reserve. The GDP growth of Pakistan is three per cent but the GDP growth of Iran is more than six per cent. So Iran can invest much more for producing energy through nuclear technology than Pakistan ever can.

There are many states in the world which are generating much of their powers through nuclear technology. For example, the US, Sweden, the Czech Republic and the UK are generating 19 per cent, 39 per cent, 33 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively.

If nuclear weapons and civil nuclear technologies are the rights of India and Israel, why can’t Iran enrich its uranium for its defence and peaceful purposes?

Keeping in mind sustainable development, Iran must not be dependent totally on oil and gas but it should rather maintain its uranium-enrichment process.

KHALID HUSSAIN Awaran, Balochistan