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Iran Set To Attempt Space Launch Vehicle January 26, 2007

Posted by notapundit in World News.
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NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–Iran has converted its most powerful ballistic missile into a satellite launch vehicle, according to Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine.

The 30-ton rocket could also be a wolf in sheep’s clothing for testing longer-range missile strike technologies, the magazine said in its Jan. 29 issue.

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.

U.S. agencies believe the launcher to be a derivation of the 800-1,000-mi. range Shahab 3 missile. A Shahab 3 fired from central Iran could strike anywhere in Israel, Saudi Arabia, the entire Persian Gulf region and as far west as southern Turkey.

Aviation Week reports that there are concerns in the West that space launch upgrades could eventually create an Iranian intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of nearly 2,500 mi., giving Tehran the ability to strike as far as central Europe, well into Russia and even China and India.

Boroujerdi’s made his remarks about the imminent Iranian launch in a speech before a group of religious students and clerics in the city of Qom near where Iran has conducted some of its ballistic missile tests.

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