Iran's Atomic Energy and Increase of Leukemia
In the years of Iran-Iraq War and for some time after the end of the war, Iranian government talked of the increase of leukemia cases in Iran and it claimed that the cases that were found were related to those who had served in the Iran-Iraq War or were people who had lived in the the war zone and the reason for the illness was noted to be the gases and chemicals used by Iraq in the war. At the time, with regards to gases like Mustard gas that the Iraqis has used in the war, and the possibility of developing leukemia because of exposure to that gas and its side effects, a lot of lab tests were done in Europe and Iran and the related documents should not be hard to find by the researchers.
But in the last fifteen years Iranian government has not talked about the increase in the number of leukemia cases and that especially among the *adults*. In fact, the world research has shown that for example leukemia of type AAL is a genetic disease which is found among children, *but* among the adults who have not even had a family history of it, it mostly happens because of exposure to radio active radiation.
Now isn't it questionable when we see the increase of this disease among adults like the 28 year-old youth even among those who have never been to war and had never even been to the past war areas of Iran and have lived in Tehran all their life? Couldn't the reason for example be that these youths have all attended the same school near the area where the storage of the atomic material has been with cracks in the facility without them even knowing it and they all have been exposed at a certain age to the radiation of the radio active material?
When yesterday I read in the news that the speaker of U.S. State Department [http://www.voanews.com/english/2005-10-05-voa58.cfm] had confirmed that in Iran in Lavisan area above the Shemiran (Tajrish) which is Tehran suburb, there has been underground atomic activity by Iranian military which has even been confirmed by IAEA, I wonder why the Iranian government does not say anything about the increase in the leukemia cases among the youth of the area? Doesn't the government have the statistics? Aren't there, in Tehran and Tajrish, many hospitals that are very modern with thorough records, and aren't the statistics of the leukemia cases and its increase known? We are not talking of a remote area like Baloochestan. Lavizan is next door to Tehran. Why it has been years that Iranian government has not been talking about the chemical and radio active materials used by Iraq at the time of war? And one cannot blame only the government of Ahmadinejad. Mr. Khatami was in charge for 8 years and the likes of Dr. Moin were in the top level scientific posts of the government? Don't these people know about these facts?
These days there is a lot of discussion about Iran's use of atomic energy for military use and whether an anti-human rights government should have a right to hold such weapons. In my opinion, even the police in an anti-human rights state should not have the right to have batons, let alone to have warm weapons or even worse the atomic weapons. In this relation, the issue with higher priority is the regime's animosity with human rights and such a regime cannot defend the national interests of Iran. I have written about this enough and the regime wanting to give itself a nationalist legitimacy by another war is very clear for me and for many other Iranians and those who still fall for this trap, it is not because of not knowing, to make it necessary to have more discussions, it is not the regime we need to blame, rather I should say that if after the experience of Iran-Iraq War and after all these years if these friends fall for this trick it is their own fault. At any rates, my goal is not to discuss more in this regard and all that has been needed to be said is already said and anyone can know what is best for them and decide for themselves.
I know that many will ask that with all the petroleum resources of Iran, why is there a need for alternative energy. In my opinion, making an alternative is right. Of course, in today's world, I would prefer the research for alternative to oil to be focused on nanotechnology and not atomic energy, and also the issue of electricity in Iran is more the grid and the distribution system that would not lose much power in long distances, than to be an issue of production, and I hope some day to find the time to write about this. But I should also acknowledge that the only real alternative for producing energy with economical cost to output ratio is this atomic energy itself. Thus if a country needs an energy alternative right at this moment, perhaps their first choice is this atomic energy and not the clean choices like Solar or Wind energy. But if the purpose is long term goals, then in my opinion the answer is none other than nanotechnology. And as far as the need to have atomic weapons or not to have them for a democratic government, at this time we do not have a democratic government and as I noted, for the current government even batons of the street cops do not mean defending the rights of Iranian people, let alone for them to have the atomic weapons. But my discussion here is about safety and not the strategy for economical energy alternative or the proper military strategy for the future democratic government.
In fact, my discussion with regards to using the atomic energy is the same, whether the usage is a military use or a civilian one. Are the facilities that are claimed to be civilian *safe*, whether they are in Lavizan in the outskirts of Tehran or are in Bushehr at the shores of the Persian Gulf? For example, in the Earthquake prone Iran, in a place like Lavizan, can't the Earthquake easily create a crack in a nuclear power plant, and cause a leak of radio active materials? Where are the nuclear wastes dumped and how safe is the water of shemiranat (Tajrish) area today and how healthy are the fruits of that area that we eat? Have the area around Lavizan and other atomic areas of Iran been tested for radio active materials using, the international standards and by independent international organizations? What are the results?
Basically my discussion is about the health of Iranian people in the current conditions? Is it possible to ask the United Nations and the International Agency for the Atomic Energy (IAEA) and Mr. Bardaei that have just won the Nobel Prize for Peace to send a team and to examine the increase of cases of leukemia among the adults in Iran and to evaluate the relation of the increased number of cases with the atomic projects of Iran. This work at least will use the statistics of the death of the children of many families, who have lost a daughter or a son in their early years of 25-30, many suddenly in a short time, to help so that the loved ones of others will not to be lost in the same tragic way.
Hoping for a Federal, Democratic, and Secular Futurist Republic in Iran,
Sam Ghandchi, Editor/Publisher
October 7, 2005