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Iran has announced plans to start building its first ever nuclear submarine, a piece of advanced military technology that only the most powerful nations on earth are even able to construct; the interesting bit is that nuclear submarines just happen to run on uranium enriched to such a level that it can also double as the fuel source for a nuclear bomb.
Olli Heinonen, the former UN chief nuclear inspector, said that “such submarines often use HEU (highly enriched uranium),” yet due to the situation regarding Iran’s nuclear program, foreign nations will be reluctant to supply them with the HEU needed. Iran will then be able to “cite the lack of foreign fuel suppliers as further justification for continuing on its uranium enrichment path.”
Any step that Iran takes along this path will certainly increase global suspicions and destroy any progress made during the negotiations which have been taking place with the UN. It could even lead closer to a military confrontation which would devastate the global oil market.
Many experts, such as Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, doubt Iran’s capability to build a nuclear submarine. Fitzpatrick flatly stated that “there is no way that Iran could build a nuclear-powered submarine.”
This leads them to agree with Shashank Joshi, a Middle East specialist at the Royal United Services Institute, when he claims that “Iran is using this submarine announcement to create bargaining leverage. It can negotiate away these 'plans' for concessions, or use the plans as a useful pretext for its enrichment activity.”
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com
James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…