LET’S exaggerate. Iran has been singled out for persecution over its alleged nuclear bomb making program because in 1979 its Revolutionary Guards took the staff of the US Embassy hostage, causing outrage in America with even the esteemed Walter Cronkite ratcheting up the tension, putting up on the screen, as he read the nightly news, the number of days they had been incarcerated. The sitting US President, Jimmy Carter (picture) was deposed, tarred with the brush of utter failure.
Something of an exaggeration that this was the sole or even the most important factor in building a pro-bomb lobby in Iran. Still it has a grain of truth: Iran has been singled out unfairly. The West and Russia are engaged in discriminating against it.
Brazil has had a nuclear enrichment program for decades (including a large ultracentrifuge enrichment plant, several laboratory-scale facilities, a reprocessing facility to make plutonium, and a missile program). In the 1980s it built two nuclear devices. Three years ago I asked the chief of mission at the US Embassy in Brasilia if Washington was worried about Brazil. “Not at all”, he replied, “In the early 1990s Brazil dismantled its nuclear weapons’ program, and Argentina, its supposed enemy, has done the same.” “But”, I insisted, “Brazil still has its enrichment program and a reprocessing facility”.