Iran’s first spy satellite launch Tuesday signifies nuclear-capable rocket in hand
The launch of Omid (Hope), Iran’s first home-made satellite into orbit early Tuesday, Feb. 3, is a breakthrough demonstrating the Islamic Republic has managed to develop long-range, three-stage, solid-fuel ballistic rockets capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
Israel and Western officials have been playing down this fast-developing capability while proving helpless to hold back Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Omid was launched by the Safir rocket, whereas a previous launching was boosted by a Russian rocket.
debkafile‘s Iranian sources report the new satellite is designed for tracking, research, telecommunications and carries digital measuring instruments. They stress that it is a feather in the hat for Iran’s “Military Group” – the team of scientists and technicians working on its clandestine nuclear bomb program. They are clearly moving ahead undisturbed by UN sanctions or technical difficulties toward rapidly finishing work on nuclear warheads for their ballistic rockets.
In weekend interviews, International Atomic Energy Agency director Muhammad ElBaradei contributed to the international effort to talk down Tehran’s nuclear advances. He admitted Iran was in the process of constructing nuclear weapons despite his agency’s monitoring efforts. But in his view it needed another two to five years to attain this objective. He therefore advised the West to try and negotiate an accord with Iran through diplomacy.
Our sources point out that ElBaradei’s remarks were misleading. His remarks referred only to Iran’s overt nuclear program, namely uranium enrichment, but ignored the clandestine facilities where Iran is making big strides toward a nuclear weapon.