Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine is reporting that Iran could be making preparations to launch a satellite into space. The prospect of the Iranian government possessing the ability to deliver a payload into Earth’s orbit has many security experts concerned, and rightfully so.
Iran has converted one of its most powerful ballistic missiles into a satellite launch vehicle. The 30-ton rocket could also be a wolf in sheep’s clothing for testing longer-range missile strike technologies.
The Iranian space launcher has recently been assembled and “will liftoff soon” with an Iranian satellite, according to Alaoddin Boroujerdi, the chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission.
To put things into perspective Uzi Rubin, the former head of the Israel Missile Defense Organization, says:
“A reconnaissance satellite of reasonable performance should weigh about 300 kg. [660 lb.] Once Iran learns how to put 300 kg. into earth orbit, it could adapt the satellite launcher into an ICBM that could drop more than 300 kg anywhere in the world. Remember the impact on the U.S. of Russia’s launch of Sputnik,”
FrontPage magazine published a special report on Jan. 22nd 2007 that discusses in great detail the threat that Iran poses to not only Israel, but the entire world. In the FrontPage report, Uzi Rubin is quoted as saying:
The Iranians are pursuing the most intensive missile program in the Third World, with constantly increasing ranges. The Iranian Shahab 3 missile (domestically produced within Iran) can threaten either Tel Aviv or Riyadh from the same launch point. The newer Shahab 3ER, with its 2,000 km range, can reach Ankara in Turkey, Alexandria in Egypt, or Sanaa in Yemen from one single launch point deep within Iran. Thus, Iran does not have to move its launchers to project power, making its missile arsenal more survivable.
The Iranians are not only producing domestic missiles either. The FrontPage report also refrences a Jan. ’06 article that appeared in Bild magazine (a German online magazine) that says that the Iranians have purchased 18 BM-25 land-mobile missiles from N. Korea. The BM-25s are a N. Korean knockoff of the Soviet sub-launched R-27 ( NATO designation- SSN-6 Sawfly) that have an estimated range of 1,500 to 1,800 mi. and according to Mr. Rubin, the R-27 “is a nuclear missile…There is no other warhead for this other than a nuclear warhead.”
There is no doubt that the Iranians intend on developing a nuclear weapons program, and if they are able to develop a launch vehicle capable of hurling a satellite into space, developing an intercontinental ballistic missile is certainly a logical next step for them to take.
The Iranian threat is not just an Israeli or American problem either. The Iranian government already uses intimidation and extortion in order to wield its influence in the Middle East. Just imagine what would happen if the Iranian government could use the threat of nuclear inhalation to intimidate other governments in the region, and while you’re at it, take a minute to think about what the world would be like if the Iranians were able to assume the control of Middle Eastern oil production. Iranian domination of the Middle East would be a disastrous situation for the rest of the world.
Probably most frightening for us, here in the United States, are the alliances that the Iranian government has forged with other anti-American governments in countries like Venezuela, Cuba, Sudan, and Libya, with Venezuela and Cuba (due to their close proximity) being the most immediate threats to the U.S. It’s not a stretch of imagination at all to think that the Iranians would export nuclear technology (including nuclear weapons technology) to these other countries. The idea of a character like Hugo Chavez having nuclear missiles in our own backyard is quite worrisome.
To be continued for sure.
Here are some Iranian weapons related posts to take a look at: