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Rough guide to nuclear sites

india Updated: Oct 06, 2006 03:40 IST

The Director of Publicity of the Islamic Republic of Iran, if indeed he exists, is sure doing one heck of a job. As any PR executive worth his weight in newspaper clippings will tell you, the scandalous and the ridiculous are the most likely to grab headlines. Post-Revolution Iranians being pious and God-fearing people, don’t quite do sex scandals as the Republicans and Liberal Democrats do elsewhere. But on the nuclear issue they are running circles around their Great Satanic counterparts.

The white-washing of nuclear cheating and the direct-mailing techniques of  President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have already got the West tied up in knots. And now Iran is venturing where no one else has ever been before — opening up its nuclear sites to tourists.

A country threatened with perdition by Uncle Sam doesn’t quite need that kind of tourism. Especially not when you have Qom for the faithful, or Isfahan for others. But what the heck. You have to be one step ahead of the International Atomic Energy Agency monitors.  Natanz’s vast underground uranium enrichment cascade could well turn out to be one of the wonders of the world. Or that building site in Lavizian which was razed and where a layer of earth was scraped away to protect tourists from picking up U235 radiation. We forecast a great future, with special charters being run from a certain airfield in Langley Valley in the US. We also predict another man with a funny hairstyle, with a fondness for the dramatic, going one up and offering sites in Yongbyon and Musudan Ri for a film titled, How I Learned to Stop Worrying, and Love the Bomb.