Iran plans to replace oil with nuclear energy

November 30, 2008

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Sheikholeslam said his country needs nuclear energy as a substitute for its oil resources.

“Iran will have oil for over 100 years but once its energy resources is depleted, nuclear energy will be the only logical substitute,” the Islamic republic news agency quoted Sheikholeslam as saying.
Iran is in a row with the U.S.-led West over its civilian nuclear program. Iran says its nuclear program is a peaceful drive to produce electricity so that the world’s fourth-largest crude exporter can sell more of its oil and gas abroad.
The U.S. and its western allies allege that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program while they have never presented corroborative evidence to substantiate their allegations against the Islamic Republic.
Tehran also stresses that the country is pursuing a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.
Despite the rules enshrined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entitling every member state, including Iran, to the right of uranium enrichment, Tehran is now under three rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West’s illegitimate calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment.
Tehran has dismissed West’s demands as politically tainted and illogical, stressing that sanctions and pressures merely consolidate Iranians’ national resolve to continue the path.
Iran insists that it should continue enriching uranium because it needs to provide fuel to a 300-megawatt light-water reactor it is building in the southwestern town of Darkhoveyn as well as its first nuclear power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr.
Iran currently suffers from an electricity shortage that has forced the country into adopting a rationing program by scheduling power outages - of up to two hours a day - across both urban and rural areas.
Iran plans to construct additional nuclear power plants to provide for the electricity needs of its growing population.
Russia’s Atomstroiexport, nuclear power equipment and service export monopoly, tasked with building the plant declared on Thursday that it will be complete in 2009.
Sheikholeslam pointed to the great strategic importance of oil resources and said that the U.S. has deployed its military forces to the Middle East states including Iraq and Kuwait to gain control of these nations’ oil reserves.
(Source: FNA)