Iran’s “dummy satellite” was a partial failure but strategic breakthrough

A US official said Tuesday, Aug. 19, that the dummy Safir satellite carrier launched by Tehran Sunday, Aug. 17, failed “shortly after liftoff and in no way reached its intended position.” debkafile‘s intelligence sources disclose that the launch did not fail at that point but nevertheless did not reach its intended orbit around Earth.
Our military sources stress that the test was still a strategic breakthrough in that it testified to Tehran’s long-range missile delivery capability, possibly armed with nuclear warheads, to distances of thousands of kilometers, against Israel and beyond; Europe and parts of Asia would also be in range. The missile program has been advancing in parallel to Iran’s drive for a nuclear weapon.
Iran would also have paved the way for spy satellites. If verified, Iran’s space achievement would offset one of Israel’s prime military assets, its superiority in space technology.
The capsule was boosted by the Safir missile, whose range the Iranians boast is up to 5,000 km and, according to some military experts, reaches 7,000 km.
The Islamic Republic’s reported feat comes at a bad time for Moscow internationally. The Russians emphatically dismiss America’s argument for installing missile interceptors in Poland as a shield against Iranian ballistic missile attack, claiming they were aimed at Russia. The Kremlin accuses the Bush administration using this false claim as a pretext, because Iran had not so far developed a ballistic threat. Now, that proof may have been provided Sunday, Moscow will have to reconsider its position.

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