On September 9, 2015, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran, prophesied that the State of Israel would “cease to exist within the next twenty-five years.”
Two years after this declaration, as part of its annual Al-Quds Day festivities, the Iranian government set up an “doomsday clock” in the place of Palestine in Tehran, counting the days until 2040, when the Jewish state would apparently be destroyed.
Last week, a power failure caused the clock to lose power, rendering it empty and presumably delaying the inevitable fate of Israel.
“Maybe instead of developing nuclear weapons, they should focus on developing renewable energy,” Israel Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said. judiciously advised.
Iran has faced persistent blackouts throughout the summer of 2021. A severe drought in the country has resulted in a shortage of hydropower. The Islamic Republic’s aging power grid has been difficult to maintain without international investment, which US and European sanctions have so far prevented. Iran’s population growth has meant that the existing network is no longer able to meet the needs of its entire population. Perhaps more importantly, a severe heat wave led to increased use of air conditioning (A / C) and other energy-intensive cooling methods.
Iran’s only commercial nuclear reactor, located in the southern town of Bandar Bushehr, briefly shut down last month following a generator malfunction, although it has since resumed operations.
Because it produces most of its low-cost electricity from domestic oil and gas production, Iran has one of the lowest electricity prices in the world. In previous years, the country has used its comparative advantage in this area to mine Bitcoin, helping the regime avoid international sanctions. However, the government banned the practice in early 2021 to save energy.
The blackouts affected all sectors in Iran, with traffic lights, telecommunications, utilities such as water pumps and businesses all affected. In response to excessive demand, the Iranian government instituted a system of progressive blackouts, prompting street protests and a public apology from incumbent Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
President-elect Ebrahim Raisi, who is expected to take office in early August, stressed the importance of diversifying Iran’s energy sources and modernize its electricity network. However, it is not clear whether the ambitious goals set out in Raisi’s economic plan are realistically achievable during his next term.
Trevor Filseth is a current affairs and foreign affairs writer for The national interest.