Rapid growth in Iran's domestic energy demand and its dependence on oil exports for revenue has forced it to consider alternative future energy solutions. Years of inadequate investment in new infrastructure to develop oil and gas reserves may lead to a rapid decline in oil production and delays to key projects that have the potential to expand oil and gas exports over the next decade. Broad international suspicion of Iran's nuclear ambitions led to UN sanctions being imposed on that industry in December 2006. Political and economic stakes are high for Iran. However, geopolitics and the energy strategies of Russia, China and India seem destined to play the key role in determining how far Iran can develop its nuclear industry.
Keywords: economics, nuclear energy, gas production, geopolitics, Iran, nuclear power, oil production, proliferation, UN sanctions, United Nations, energy strategies, nuclear weapons