scholars and rogues

Iran’s energy security breaks down

Iran has long claimed that their need for nuclear research and development is all in the name of energy security and self-sufficiency. Yesterday the Iranian government imposed new fuel rationing, limiting individuals to 100 litres of fuel per month.

Riots have followed.

Consider this: Iran – one of the world’s largest oil producers – imports fuel which it then sells on to its people for 11c (US) per litre. They lack refining capacity and are finding the cost of importing and subsidising somewhat prohibitive.

Despite this they have dedicated their money to developing nuclear capacity. If they really were serious about “energy security” do you really think that Iran – a country with no uranium ore of its own – would be importing it for processing and not refining the oil that they do have?

A country like that is certainly one to be wary of.

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3 replies »

  1. I’m not a Middle East expert by any stretch. But I see this and immediately realize that there are things at work that I don’t quite grasp. I can’t find any way where it’s GOOD news, though.

  2. is this an onion article? you note that a country who lacks enough energy resources as it is can’t REALLY be trying to develop another to make up the shortfall – there MUST be a more nefarious reason!

    but really, the underlying premise of all iran hawks, regardless of the text of their arguments, is this: a theocracy with an aggressive idiot as leader is too dangerous on the world stage, and must be disarmed at all costs… by force if necessary.

    i agree. let’s start with the united states.

  3. It always amazes me when people won’t accept certain policies at home but come up with astonishing reasons to justify those policies in another country. Iran is awash with oil, but oil – in and of itself – is unusable. It must be refined.

    Iran has limited refining capacity and so shortages of fuel which it must import. Poor economic policy has resulted in further shortages. Now riots.

    If you want to address these issues build refineries.

    If the US government chooses to go to war to protect oil resources it does not have locally everyone demands to know why they don’t develop appropriate technologies. That is a fair comment – why not? Why spend so much money to defend a resource you would be better off substituting as quickly as possible?

    So why does Iran want nuclear power when they have so much oil? Uranium power is expensive, terribly dangerous and reliant on subsidies to be viable. So, let’s see, say they get this going: not only will Iran be subsidising nuclear power plants but also fuel imports.

    Subsidies are their business, of course. But when an unpredictable regime given to making obscene utterances about the security of their neighbours threatens to convert civilian nuclear technology into military use then everyone better take notice.

    And don’t be so foolish and short-sighted as to compare Bush to Ahmadinejad.

    When the US starts having “modesty” police who arrest teen girls for wearing pantihose and high-heels then you can start comparing yourselves to Iran. When George Bush personally opens a cartoon exhibit dedicated to mocking the Holocaust you should move out. Until then US actions don’t even come close.