Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Will Iran run out of gas?

Division of Labour provides us an excerpt from a LexisNexis transcript of an NPR interview. Start there (scroll to point 5). Then come back here for another excerpt:
Prof. STERN: It would be much cheaper for Iran to build new gas-powered electric power generation than to build a nuclear reactor. But the magic of the nuclear reactor for Iran is that Russia is willing to finance it. And Iran has scared off many other foreign investors in its energy sector.

INSKEEP: Are you saying, then, that Iran's pursuit of nuclear power of some kind is actually a sign of their desperation?

Prof. STERN: That's exactly what I'm saying, yes.

INSKEEP: So what does mean for the United States and it's allies as they try to pressure Iran into giving up its nuclear ambitions?

Prof. STERN: If I were giving advice, that advice would be do nothing. I believe that Iran will be in a weaker position in three or four years' time. And if that's the case, they would be in a more conciliatory frame of mind, perhaps with respect to their weapons.

INSKEEP: Roger Stern, of Johns Hopkins University. Thanks very much.

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