Monday, March 8, 2010
Iran Developing Massive Launch Site; North Korea reportedly assisting Teheran in building launch pad for new missile
Iran is building a new rocket launch site with North Korean assistance, Israel Radio quoted IHS Jane’s as reporting overnight Friday.
The new launcher, constructed near an existing rocket base in the Semnan province east of Teheran, is visible in satellite imagery, according to the report.
The defense intelligence group said the appearance of the launcher suggests assistance from North Korea, and that it may be intended to launch the Simorgh, a long-range Iranian-made missile unveiled in early February and officially intended to be used as a space-launch vehicle (SLV). SLV’s can be converted to be used as long-range ballistic missiles for military purposes.
Both the missile and the launch pad, which according to Jane’s is large enough to accommodate it, point to cooperation from Pyongyang.
"This is a major technological breakthrough and could mean that the Iranians are on their way to obtaining an ICBM," said Tal Inbar, head of the Space Research Center at the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies.