New Iranian Rocket-Launch Facility Reported

Add to Briefcase
Global Security Newswire Staff
Aug. 8, 2013, 9:02 a.m.

In­de­pend­ent ana­lysts have dis­covered a new rock­et-launch fa­cil­ity in Ir­an with a ca­pa­city for bal­list­ic-mis­sile test­ing, Re­u­ters re­por­ted on Thursday.

Jane’s In­tel­li­gence Re­view used satel­lite pho­to­graphy to de­term­ine that a launch tower and pad, a rock­et-sta­ging area, and ad­min­is­trat­ive and sup­port sec­tions have been built out­side of the town of Shahrud after con­sid­er­able con­struc­tion over a three-year peri­od, ac­cord­ing to the wire ser­vice.

Coun­tries in North Amer­ica and Europe are troubled by Ir­an’s re­cent pur­suit of space cap­ab­il­it­ies, based on the no­tion that bal­list­ic tech­no­logy that Ir­an is us­ing to put satel­lites in­to or­bit could be al­tern­at­ively fit­ted to de­liv­er nuc­le­ar war­heads.

Two oth­er sites are also be­ing pre­pared to ser­vice Ir­an’s space pro­gram.

Mat­thew Cle­m­ents, ed­it­or at Jane’s, told Re­u­ters that “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.” 

Mean­time, the in­aug­ur­a­tion of former nuc­le­ar ne­go­ti­at­or Has­san Rouh­ani to the Ir­a­ni­an pres­id­ency has put the nuc­le­ar stan­doff between the Per­sian Gulf coun­try and the West­ern world back on the glob­al radar. Early state­ments by Rouh­ani give the ap­pear­ance that he may be in­ter­ested in resolv­ing the in­ter­na­tion­al dis­pute over Ir­an’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram.  

×