The London based Times reported this morning that new satellite imagery exposed a site where Iran is developing long range ballistic missiles, as shown in photo below.
On February 4, Iran launched a "research rocket" as part of its space program, the Islamic Republic announced. Experts say, however, that the rocket launch was in fact a field test of Shihab-type ballistic missile.
But four days after the launch another intriguing feature of the test became apparent: analysis of photographs taken by the Digital Globe QuickBird satellite indicated that the launch site of Kavoshgar 1, as the Shihab missile was dubbed by the Iranians, is also the site where Iran is busy developing ballistic missiles with a range of about 6,000 km. The site, about 230 km southeast of Teheran, weapons inspector was previously unknown and its link with the Iranian
weapons program was revealed by Jane's
(Picture: Jane's Intelligence Review) Intelligence Review after the images were studied by a former Iraq Using a space program as a faÃ§ade for a weapons program was the path chosen by Korea until it declared it had passed the nuclear weapon threshold.
Geoffrey Forden, a research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said that there was a recently constructed building on the site, about 40 metres in length, which was similar in form and size to the Taepodong long-range missile assembly facility in North Korea.
Jane's Proliferation editor Avital Johanan said analysis of the Iranian site indicated that Teheran may be about five years away from developing a 6,000 km ballistic missile. This would tie in with American intelligence estimates and underlines why President Bush wants the Polish and Czech components of the US missile defence system to be up and running by 2013.
Missiles with a range of 6,000 km, launched from Teheran's environs, can hit not only any Middle Eastern countries, but also any target in Europe, including targets in Britain; almost any target in China and Russia,and most of India. President Shimon Peres has noted several times in the last few months that there was "no logic" in working diligently towards producing long-range ballistic missiles unless it planned to couple such missiles with nuclear warheads.
SOURCE:The Lekarev Report
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