Friday, May 04, 2007

Wanted: Two Nuclear Reactors.

Good to see the world media is on top of everything.

Another instance of what "stop before I say 'stop' again" gets you.
Among the surreal events becoming ever more frequent in the nuclear showdown with Iran was the appearance of an ad last week in the International Herald Tribune, inviting bids to build "Two Large Scale Nuclear Power Plants in Iran."

The ad ran in all editions of the paper, which is owned by the New York Times, and reaches more than 240,000 readers in more than 180 countries. Somehow this outrageous solicitation escaped the notice of major world media. That's remarkable, at a time when Iran has been flagrantly defying United Nations Security Council resolutions calling on Tehran to halt its nuclear bomb program - with both the U.N. and U.S. Treasury calling for a freeze on the assets worldwide of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, on behalf of which the ad was placed.

The ad did get noticed in Israel, a country that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said he would like to see wiped off the map. Bloggers picked up the story, and a scanned version of the ad began circulating, with commentary, on the Internet. It smacked of Iranian nose-thumbing so extreme one had to wonder if it was a spoof.

It's no joke. The ad, which reads like something out of a Graham Greene novel, includes an e-mail address for a "Mr. Esmaeili," the address of Iran's Permanent Mission to the U.N. in Vienna, and a bank-account number at Austria Bank-Creditanstalt, complete with SWIFT code, for interested bidders to pay a nonrefundable fee for a set of bidding specifications.


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