While the United States continues to threaten Iran, Iran really has no choice but to pursue a nuclear program. In doing so, it risks possible destruction from a US or Israeli attack, although I am convinced what’s left of our own country would be left in shambles as well, but if it fails to do so it’s citizens ultimately will face starvation and Iran will still face possible US or Israeli attack.
Iran is highly dependent upon desalinated seawater to provide water to grow crops to feed it’s 66 million people. Easy to get at oil is a valuable commodity and Iran’s oil fields are already in decline. Nuclear energy is one option, and probably the most economic option, for providing the energy necessary for desalinization of seawater on a large scale.
When you’ve got a whack neighbor like Israel that feels obligated to regularly bomb all of it’s surrounding neighbors, and that neighbor has a nuclear arsenal; then unless you enjoy glowing in the dark, some kind of deterrent is really necessary.
When you’ve got another whack foreign power that eyes your oil reserves and has demonstrated no qualms about killing and maiming millions to obtain them, again some kind of deterrent is necessary.
President Mahmud Ahmadi-Nejad is regularly misquoted as calling for the destruction of Israel; this quote is taken out of context, and actually he is quoting former leader and setting himself apart. If you dig around the net a bit, you can find the speech in question.
I really wish we could drop the war mongering and get on with life. It is really in everyone’s interests for these countries to modernize; fundamentalism does less well in a modern society.