Iran has new rocket site, ballistic missile tests possible: report

DUBAI Thu Aug 8, 2013 4:11am EDT

Iranian President-elect Hassan Rohani gestures to the media during a news conference in Tehran June 17, 2013. REUTERS/Fars News/Majid Hagdost

Iranian President-elect Hassan Rohani gestures to the media during a news conference in Tehran June 17, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Fars News/Majid Hagdost

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran has constructed a rocket-launching site that could be used for testing ballistic missiles, a report from a military intelligence publication said on Thursday.

Satellite imagery analyzed by Jane's Intelligence Review showed extensive construction over the last three years at a site of what Jane's says is a launch tower and pad, an area to prepare rockets for launch and an administration and support section.

The Islamic Republic has pursued ambitious goals to develop its space program in recent years. In January this year it demonstrated its missile delivery systems by launching a live monkey into space and returning it safely, officials said.

Western countries are concerned that long-range ballistic technology used to propel Iranian satellites into orbit could be put to delivering nuclear warheads.

Assertions about the site, near the town of Shahrud some 100 km (62 miles) northeast of Tehran, come weeks after Iranian officials said they would inaugurate a new space centre to launch satellites.

Jane's says the Shahrud site is one of three that will ultimately serve Iran's space program.

"Imagery analysis of the Shahrud site suggests it will be a strategic facility used to test ballistic missiles, leaving the other two sites free to handle Iran's ambitious program of satellite launches," said Jane's editor Matthew Clements.

Iranian officials were not immediately available for comment.

Iran's efforts to develop and test ballistic missiles and build a space launch capability have contributed to Israeli calls for pre-emptive strikes on Iranian nuclear sites and billions of dollars of U.S. ballistic missile defense spending.

(Reporting by Marcus George; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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Comments (10)
BanglaFirst wrote:
Its called self reliance and bargaining chip when it comes to comprehensive regional peace.

Aug 08, 2013 9:44am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Logical123 wrote:
Does anyone know what a “ballistic missile” is? It is not necessarily a weapon. It is like saying Iran is building hand guns. Oh, they may use them to kill somebody. What nonsense!

Iran has to build its own space technology because the West is shutting it out of all technological development. This year, they have taken off almost all Iranian news broadcasts from satellites such as Intelsat. Iran has to launch its own communication satellite and has to build the infrastructure to support such an endeavor. Thanks for all the sanctions.

Aug 08, 2013 10:06am EDT  --  Report as abuse
crowleykirk wrote:
IRAN will never be a peaceful country..EVER!
They should not be allowed to develop a space program, nukes or missiles.
They have only demonstrated hatred and will be stopped. Muslims are not peaceful. This a third world country. They can not be trusted with such power. Peace and Iran do not go together. Israel…may God be with you!

Aug 08, 2013 12:09pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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