Given the latest and numerous attentions that Iran and its nuclear program are receiving, one has to wonder what Iranians think of an Islamic Republic with nuclear technology. The news are filled with an abundance of opinion ranging from the United States concerns of Iran's Nuclear capabilities, to the European Union's insistence on finding a resolution, and to Israel's intention on attacking the Bushehr power plant, yet there are no real collections of Iranian opinion on the matter.
The Iranian opinion surely must be of importance! Regardless of what the opinions are, it is important that it is examined. With that in mind I intend to provide herein my opinion on the matter. With respect to forming an opinion on the matter it is important to reflect on the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its authoritarian rule of the last two decades. It is relevant to point out the history of this regimes brutality, not only abroad, but more importantly at home toward its own citizens.
Ever since the creation of this regime it has been involved in international terrorism through its surrogate funded terrorist organization, namely Hezbollah but amongst others Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and through its numerous agents and trained assassins. It's assassinations of Iranians outside of Iran, although less frequent now, has been well established. Inside Iran the atrocities are far worse. From the onset of the revolution mass murders and brutal public execution have been a part of the way the Islamic Regime does business.
The Regime is notorious for its use of street thugs as a form of policing the masses and as a tool of political power. It is also infamous for its methods of torture in its prisons crowded with political prisoners, some of whom have been sentenced to ludicrous sentences for expressing their desire for essential needs of human rights. Again and again, this regime has shown that it will not hesitate to use terror and brutality to maintain the status quo.
The Islamic Republic's detachment from its own citizens is evident when they bring in foreigners for crowd control and policing at peaceful demonstrations by Iranian youth. It is a bold statement when one has to resort to such actions to stay in command of its own citizens. Imagine the United States, or for that matter any country, to bring in trained nationals from another country to police its own citizens.
The history of this Regime has shown that it cannot be trusted, not even by its own citizens. The question now arises whether the Iranian people at this juncture in their history are better off with nuclear capabilities or whether their future looks brighter without it. It is necessary to point out here that nuclear technology is very beneficial to the Iranian people if used for civilian purposes. Yet the question is whether this Regime will limit the use of the technology just for civilian purposes. The reality is that it will not limit its use to just civilian purposes.
This regime will do anything to strengthen it's presence in the region and also to prolong its life expectancy. Iranians will now have to weigh their option. Does the benefit of nuclear power for civilian purposes out-weigh the dangers of arming this Regime, a regime that for decades has supported terrorism world-wide, with Nuclear Weapons capabilities? Given the options for alternative sources of power for Iran and this Regime's history, I believe that at this juncture in history Iran is better off without!
About Mohammad Kazerouni graduated from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) in 2002 with a B.A. in Political Science.He is currently a Candidate for J.D. at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California. He is also a Founding Member of the National Union For Democracy in Iran, nufdi.org.