Iran is showcasing its technological might starting this weekend during a 5-day tech expo in Syria, the first time the event has been held outside of Iran. The move has some calling it the country's attempt to display to the West its tech prowess, as it continues to advance nuclear power development.
The expo is not unexpected--they've held previous shows before, but this is the first time it's being held outside Iran and it comes at a time when the country has been ramping up its technological know-how. A supercomputer is just one of Iran's latest developments--this week, Iran's Research Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology also announced two new gamma radiation sites.
"Eighty five to ninety percent of nuclear energy includes peaceful use of the technology in medical, agricultural and industrial domains," said the Institute's Managing Director, Mohammad Ghannadi. "Today nuclear technology plays a very leading role in diagnosis of incurable diseases including all types of cancer. The system evaluates quality of agricultural produces and disinfects and sterilizes medical equipment through Gamma radiation instead of chemical material."
A local journalist in Tehran, Ali Reza Khamesian, said the expo attempts to portray Iran as the "most powerful and independent country in the region."
"That is to show the regional countries that Iran is unique since it has achieved technological achievements," in the face of sanctions from the West, he said.
"Technological achievements" appears to be handy code words for nuclear achievements, based on recent reports and statements. But rockets, satellites, nanotechnology, and aerospace technology are all expected to be exhibited.
The event also comes at a time when there is growing use of consumer technology for political purposes, as seen in the case of Tunisia and Egypt. Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, in reference to recent events in those two countries, said, "I can tell you that thanks to technology dictators can't get a good night's sleep. As to what is going to happen in the future it is too early to say. But I can say the people in Iran are extremely unhappy with the current situation. Iran is like the fire underneath the ashes and the ashes can suddenly make way for the fire at the slightest event."
In other words: tech cuts both ways.
[Image: Wikimedia Commons]