Gordon Brown says to Iran that they can have civil nuclear power, but will face sanctions if they try to refine their uranium to weapons grade.
Fine. He has drawn a line in the sand. A fine line, defining refining, because uranium refining is all that lies between nuclear power and nuclear weapons. All it takes is a few years feeding mega amounts of megawatts of electricity into a few centrifuges, and lo! the base metal of atoms for peace is transformed into the gold of atoms for nuclear holocaust.
It's not rocket science to make a nuclear weapon, although rocket science does help with the delivery aspect.
At Hinkley Point, they used to have a short burn, taking the uranium out before it was exhausted, and that product was be used to sustain the British Government's political need to be able to destroy millions of people at a whim.
Or you can reprocess the spent fuel, that will do nicely to make a bomb, although of course only really rich countries with squillions of taxpayers money to fritter, like Britain, can afford to do reprocessing.
In being confined to "atoms for peace", poor countries like Iran would have to make do with making a "dirty bomb" - popping a load of TNT in a van, cover it with nuclear waste, drive it carefully (mind the potholes) into a neighbouring country, and set it off either with a mobile phone, or by getting the van driver to press a button while he is still in the van. The latter would only apply if the van driver happens to be fed up with his wife and would like to try his luck with 70 virgins*.
So its a fine line between nuclear power and nuclear weapons.
Logic drives Brown to accept the right of Iran to have nuclear power (NP). Brown wants NP, so how can he in all conscience insist that Iran cannot have NP? After all, Western politicians are not hypocrites, are they?
However, Iran absolutely must not follow the UK in having nuclear weapons.
Q: Why, Mr Brown, should Iran not have nuclear weapons but UK should have nuclear weapons? (This is the question that journalists dare not ask, which is one of the reasons that blogs are a threat to the corporate media).
The answer to the question is as follows:
Mr Brown is sane and responsible, and Mr Ahmedinajacket, Prime Minister of Iran, is not. He has a brown skin, for one thing, whereas all other nuclear weapons states have white skins (Chinese are honorary whites for nuclear weapons purposes). Also Mr Ahmedinnajab believes in the 70 virgin theory, and the other nuclear weapons states are 70 virgin sceptics.
So - no way must Iran be allowed to get nuclear weapons, because they might actually use them. Of course, we might actually use them too, otherwise they would not be credible as a deterrent. But the difference is that we would use them wisely, whereas Mr Armourdinnerjacket of Iran is the kind of man who would use them foolishly.
Yes, that's the reason.
I hope that is clear. If not, here is a piece on the logic of deterrence.
Hopeless idealist that I am, I worked out that if the West clubbed together and bought Iran some photo-voltaic panels, it would only need one square metre per Iranian to generate as much electricity as their nuclear power programme would supply. However, there was no point in putting this suggestion to the UK Governement, because they would simply object that the Iranians would immediately break up the panels, and use the sharp pointy bits to attack us in our beds.
So, nuclear power for Iran it is then. But no nuclear weapons.
It's makes you feel safe to know that our Government is run by really logical people.
*I wonder if there is some catch here. Maybe they are eternal virgins, so gets to be tempted but is unable to consummate. That would be hell...