Rev Guard website article: 'The Day After Iran's First Nuclear Test is a Normal Day'
You have to think, as The Guardian's Julian Borger suggests, that this article may very well be a signal of some kind being given by Iranian hardliners in the government.
Appearing on a Revolutionary Guard website, the article discusses what the world would be like the day after Iran explodes its first nuclear weapon.
Any mention of an Iranian nuclear weapon is taboo in the Islamic Republic, which insists that its nuclear programme is entirely for peaceful, civil purposes. So it is remarkable, to say the least, that an article has appeared on the Gerdab website, run by Iran's Revolutionary Guards, anticipating the day after Iran's first test of a nuclear warhead.
This strange, hypothetical, article, which first appeared on April 24, hammers home again and again the message that an Iranian nuclear test will not lead to disaster. On the contrary, life will go as before except that Iranians will feel better about themselves.
Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian expert, finds the article "unbelievable":
I have never seen anything like this report. It's breaking a major taboo. For now we have to treat it as a one off. However if this report is followed by others similar to it, then it would signify a major change in the way Iran refers to its nuclear program. It would mean that Iran has decided to use the idea of a nuclear bomb as a deterrence against further sanctions and the possibility of a military attack by the West. It could also be a tool for the regime to boost its waning popularity at home.
Such a change could prove to be very damaging in the short and long term, as it would be a significant boost for western efforts to isolate Iran and to consolidate the international consensus against the Islamic Republic and its nuclear program. Such isolation and deteriorating economic situation could be more damaging to the regime's top priority, which is its survival, than a military attack by the West.
Here are a couple of excerpts from the piece:
The day after Iran's first nuclear test is a normal day.
The day after Islamic Republic of Iran's first nuclear test will be an ordinary day for us Iranians but in the eyes of some of us there will be a new sparkle.
It's a good day. It's seven in the morning. The sun is not fully up yet but everywhere is bright. In the northern hemisphere many countries are beginning the day...
The day before, probably in central deserts of Iran, where once Americans and some other Western countries wanted to bury their nuclear waste, an underground nuclear explosion has taken place. The strength of the explosion was not so great as to cause severe damage to the region nor so weak that Iranian scientists face any problems in running their tests.
Today is a normal day like any other. Like 90% of the year, there is news about Iran, and these are the headlines which can be seen on foreign news sites:
Reuters: Iran detonated its nuclear bomb
CNN: Iran detonated nuclear bomb
Al-Jazeera: The second Islamic nuclear bomb was tested
Al-Arabia: The Shia nuclear bomb was tested
Yahoo! News: Nuclear explosion in Iran
Jerusalem Post: Mullahs obtained nuclear weapon
Washington Post: Nuclear explosion in Iran, Shock and despair in Tel Aviv
The news commotion will not knock life in Iran off balance. Civil servants will punch in at work on time as always, while some will be late as always. ...The day after the Islamic Republic of Iran's first nuclear test will be an ordinary day for us Iranians but in the eyes of some of us there will be a new sparkle. A sparkle of national pride and strength.
Internal Iranian politics is very complex. Shifting alliances, factional infighting, clashes between schools that hold competing interpretations of Islam and the Koran - it has been this way since 1979. It is impossible to say with any certainty who authorized this piece and what their game is in publishing it.
The fact that it hasn't been taken down and the website scrubbed is significant I think. This may indicate that someone very high up in government - perhaps Khamenei himself - has approved the article and is preparing the world for the inevitable; an Iranian atomic bomb.