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Friday, November 19, 2010

Iran sanctions working in slow motion

How long will Western sanctions take to work against Iran? This ought to give you some idea.
The human impact from the wrangling between Iran and the West over its nuclear program could fall first in nuclear medicine clinics around the country, where hundreds of cancer patients a week get treatment with radioactive isotopes.

Iran says fuel for the Teheran research reactor that produces the isotopes will run out in September next year, leaving it without the materials needed to diagnose and treat some 850,000 cancer patients across the country.

A deal for the West to provide fuel for the reactor has all but fallen apart in the deadlock over Iran's broader nuclear program, and Iran's drive to produce the fuel on its own has brought condemnation from the US and Europe. They fear the program could boost what they contend is the secret goal of Iran's nuclear ambitions: to produce a bomb.

Iran denies the claim, saying its program is only for peaceful purposes and has touted the need for medical isotopes to justify its program.
The article goes on - as you would expect - to present us with real Iranians who claim they will die without the isotopes.

But go read the part I quoted again. It will be September 2011 before the Iranians run out of isotopes, assuming they don't find another way to import them. By September 2011, they may well have a nuclear weapon. Sanctions aren't going to stop them.

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