This huge atomic energy plant was being constructed
near the Persian Gulf city of Bushehr.
With the cooperation and support of West Germany, Iran was building two reactors, each with
a capacity of 1,200 megawatts to be operational in 1980. Their function would have been to support
the growing energy needs of Iran. During summertime, outside work was almost suspended during the excessive
heat of day but continued unabated through the cool of the night. The entire programme came to an abrupt end in 1979.
Since its inception in 1974, Iran's nuclear energy policy has been a matter of controversy in Iran and abroad. Why did a country that floated over a sea of oil and gas need nuclear energy for electrical power? Was Iran after nuclear bomb? What did the Shah have in mind for the future? Did Iran's nuclear energy policy under the Shah lay the ground for the Islamic Republic to go after nuclear weapons? Which countries benefited form Iran's policies? How did Iran react to the Unites States' overlordship of the nuclear non-proliferation regime? Who ran Iran's energy policy? How far had Iran advanced in nuclear technology? These questions and much more are asked, answered and discussed in this candid interview with Akbar Etemad, a nuclear physicist who established the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and developed and led it until a few months before the 1979 revolution. This is an absorbing account of the Shah's visions, politics, tactics, and reactions as Iran's nuclear energy industry grew and as Iran became increasingly involved in the politics of nuclear energy on the world scene. It is also a significant statement about Iran's state of economic and technological development before the revolution.