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Ever since the Iranians opened their new heavy-water production plant in Khondab, analysts have assumed that the mullahcracy intended to turn the facility into a Middle Eastern Los Alamos, where weapons-grade fissile material can be produced for nuclear weapons. However, Teheran's nuclear chief Mohammad Sa'idi tells the Iranian News Channel (IRINN) that the West has misunderstood Iran's intentions. It turns out that Khondab is meant to be the Middle Eastern Lourdes:
Interviewer: You just said that in some cases, heavy water can even be used for drinking.
Mohammad Sa'idi: Yes.
Interviewer: Could you elaborate on this?
Mohammad Sa'idi: One of the products of heavy water is depleted deuterium. As you know, in an environment with depleted deuterium, the reception of cancer cells and of the AIDS viruses is disrupted. Since this reception is disrupted, the cells are gradually expelled from the body. Obviously, one glass of depleted deuterium will not expel or cure the cancer or eliminate the AIDS. We are talking about a certain period of time. In many countries that deal with these diseases, patients use this kind of water instead of regular water, and consume it daily in order to heal their diseases.
In other words, the issue of heavy water has to do with matters of life and death, in many cases. One of the reasons that led us to produce heavy water was to use it for agricultural... medical purposes, and especially for industrial purposes in our country.
The Iranans continue to outfox themselves with this kind of ridiculous argument. Some experiments have been tried using heavy water to develop treatments of cancer, but they go back twenty years and apparently produced insignificant results. AIDS, being a viral infection, would hardly respond to drinking heavy water. If the Iranians really do treat cancer and AIDS patients using this strategy, it would only be for the purpose of recruiting for suicide missions.
Iran could make an argument -- and does -- that the Non-Proliferation Treaty allows for the development of peaceful nuclear energy, and that the West has no basis on which to stop their uranium-enrichment program. That argument puts the onus on the West to prove that they have other intentions for the nuclear cycle, which the West has attempted to do on several occasions. This kind of foolish argument only makes it more obvious that the Iranians have something else in mind besides producing miracle cures from water. The Iranians aren't scientific idiots and pretending to be only makes their deception clearer.
UPDATE: The above graphic comes from CaNN, which has a number of excellent photoshops. Check them out!!
UPDATE II: I forgot to give a hat-tip on that logo to Michael Ledeen, who spotted it first. Also, heavy water is not radioactive, as a number of e-mailers pointed out and Steven den Beste notes in the commentsSphere It View blog reactions
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