Apparently, a four billion dollar, three mile long tunnel built by the Iranians in Tajikistan is plagued by potholes, water infiltration, and a lack of ventilation. So maybe one consolation with the horrible deal President Obama made with Iran is that many of their engineers just aren't that good.
For contrast, the "Chunnel" between Dover and Calais obviously has an even worse water risk (the English Channel of course), is about ten times as long, is adequately ventilated with room for multiple lanes of traffic and trains, and only cost about twice as much to build. It even has adequate lighting. And, of course, the laborers working on the "Chunnel" were being paid European wages, and I'd wager a nickel or two those working on Anzob were not.
Is the altitude the issue? Well, in the videos, I still see trees, which means the tunnel is not above tree line. It was no more challenging, really, than Colorado's Eisenhower Tunnel. So with a bit of luck, the state of Iranian engineering (civil engineering at least) is somewhat less advanced than that of the United States 40 years ago, at best.
And that's probably being nice, since we built the Moffat Tunnel through the Rockies in 1928. Let's hope and pray that Iranian physicists and nuclear engineers also have abilities that parallel those of that era for obvious reasons. Maybe we should even tell them, as a certain Austrian corporal noted, that the physics involved are "Jewish"? They might not proceed if they know that.
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