Seriously, maybe they do need the energy

Much has been written in recent days about the Iranian nuclear program. There have been a lot of questions as to whether this is a subterfuge to cover the development of nuclear weapons. The jury on that may not even have been called yet, but perhaps the Iranian Government are not being totally deceptive, and do need the potential energy.

Judy Clark has an interesting piece in The Oil and Gas Journal about the energy situation in Iran. The story covers an ongoing debate about the use of natural gas deposits, of which Iran has an abundance. One of the arguments is about the use of the gas is to help with the domestic production of oil.

One quote of concern is the note that
Iran is losing 350,000 b/d/year of oil production capacity, Fesharaki said, and the decline rate could increase to 500,000 b/d/year by the end of the decade. Onshore decline rates have risen to 8%/year from 7%/year and offshore decline rates to 13%/year.
However if the natural gas, currently either used domestically or intended to be sold abroad as a liquified product (LNG) is used to re-stimulate existing oil fields then it may have a more beneficial impact on overall energy economics for Iran. The article continues:
Production of Ahwaz Bangestan oil field, for example, has fallen to 160,000 b/d from 250,000 b/d and will fall to 60,000 b/d within 1-2 years. A gas injection program could increase production to 220,000 b/d and maintain it at that level.
Iran, it should be noted, currently produces around 4 mbd of oil, so current declines in their production are at about the 10% level. With that sort of a lifetime on their current energy production they will need some form of replacement source to provide power in a decade, when the oil and gas run out.

All things considered, the use of nuclear power as a form of energy makes some sense for Iran. Given that it will take some significant amount of time to get enough of the background protocols covered, planning to have such power in around 10 years, as their current power supply disappears, could be considered only prudent. Of course it could also be being used for a more clandestine purpose, but the legitimate need should not be treated in too cavalier a fashion in light of the evidence.

At the same time the debate over whether the gas should be used to stimulate oil production, or to supply domestic and foreign needs for natural gas is likely to be of interest to us all. Certainly the oil would fit more easily into current world needs, but the decision will likely be made on domestic political concerns.

And, of course, the debate (and the article) do not address the interesting question to the rest of us regarding exactly where those currently supplied with the 350,000bd of oil that will be lost in the next year, can anticipate finding a replacement source.

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Just guessing here, but if it were MY gas, and I were looking ahead from 2005, it would make a lot of sense to reinject it to maximize dollars for my country's wealth. But to do this would require an alternate plan for energy, which nuclear is. It is, IMHO, a very good plan that should defuse any accusations that they are "hoarding" their gas or oil, which might be enough of an excuse for an invasion in the future.

But basically, what they do should be their sovereign business anyway...

I think they have a lot of native uranium, too.

The argument here goes much farther than geology and engineering. If Iran wants nukes for peaceful power only, why then did it secretly pay $49.5M for 6 Ukrainian, nuclear-capable cruise missiles? This while a past president (Rafsanjani) chants "death to America" and casually discusses nuclear extermination of Israel and Europe(links below). Wake up guys, many countries buy foreign power, why not Iran?

A few quotes from the links below:

"The Iranian side of the missile deal took place from May to June 2001, when six Kh-55 missiles were sent by aircraft to Iran. Mr. Omelchenko did not say in the letter where the remaining eight missiles were sent. The Iranians paid $49.5 million for the missiles and the shipment was disguised using forged documents that identified the shipments as oil-pipeline material. Three persons involved in the missile deal died in automobile accidents, according to the letter.

"If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave any thing in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world", Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani told the crowd at the traditional Friday prayers in Tehran.

Iran has increased the range of its missiles to 1,250 miles, a senior Iranian official was quoted as saying on Tuesday, putting parts of Europe within reach for the first time. Military analysts had estimated Iran's missile range at 810 miles, which would allow it to strike anywhere in Israel. But Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the country's influential former president and the head of a government oversight body, as saying: "Now we have the power to launch a missile with a 2,000-kilometer range. Iran is determined to improve its military capabilities." "If the Americans attack Iran, the world will change. . . . They will not dare to make such a mistake," Rafsanjani was quoted as saying in a speech at a national security exhibition. how can the Pope's functionaries remain indifferent when they see the oppression committed by the international arrogance? Therefore, a heavy responsibility lies on their shoulders. They should raise a great outcry against America. They should say to the Americans: Through the crimes you commit you disgrace Jesus, because you use the names of Jesus and the church to win over many votes in the American public.
Crowd: Death to America
Death to America
Death to America
Death to America
Death to America

IMHO, the fact that they let everybody know about their missiles tells me they aren't serious. I could get missiles into this country silently just by piggybacking them in pieces on wet backs. So you are telling me that the big money Iran has cannot obtain them and keep it a secret? I am not buying that. It was allowed to leak as a deterrent in and of itself. MO, of course.

The point of my comment was not about the secrecy of this missile shipment, but to question the purpose of purchasing such missiles in the first place.

Iran would purchase missles for self defense as would Venezuela, Mexico, or Canada, although I doubt Iran would use them as the USA has in Iraq, Afghanistan and Serbia.

As for its nuke program, it was started by the USA during the Shah's reign, because even then the CIA realized that Iran would need it to power its economy.

Long range cruise missiles fly at low altitude to avoid detection and destruction. They are considered offensive weapons, not defensive. Read the first article on the X-55 (the rockets bought by Iran).

Canada, Venezuela and Mexico do NOT own missiles; the second link below is a table of missile-equiped countries around the world.