Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Ads that I like #73
Sometimes things work out in ways outside of our expectations. Today’s advertisement is a good case in point. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I think that a little history lesson is in order!
Iran's nuclear program emerged after a 1953 CIA-supported coup that bought Shah (King) Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to power. The Shah was keen on atoms you see, he loved them, like kids love colouring or my wife loves D'Anvers orange fudge.
Eventually, the Shah got himself a sweet little civil nuclear co-operation program under the U.S. Atoms for Peace program. In 1967, he managed to secure himself a U.S.-supplied, 5-megawatt nuclear research reactor, which allowed him to indulge his love of atoms to a level that he previously could never have imagined.
In fact, the Shah was so taken by the whole exercise that he approved plans to construct, with U.S. help, twenty-three nuclear power stations by the year 2000! He was like a cat in a cream factory, or a lizard in a place with lots of flies (and maggots and other stuff lizards like).
In 1976 – around the time that this advertisement appeared in the top atom fanciers glossies – Gerald Ford offered Iran the chance to buy and operate a US-built reprocessing facility for extracting plutonium from nuclear reactor fuel. The deal was for a complete 'nuclear fuel cycle'. [For all you fun fact fans playing at home, the White House Chief of Staff in 1976 “Bang Bang” Dick Cheney, and the Secretary of Defense was “Known Knowns” Donald Rumsfeld!]
As the advertisement attests, Iran had deep pockets and US and European companies were not only keen to do business there, but also eager to publicise the fact!
Obviously though, some stuff happened, and Jimmy Carter was attacked by a rabbit, the Shah had a bit of a run-in with known supporter of the liberal arts, the Ayatollah Khomeini, and suddenly no-one wanted to talk about it any more.