Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Can Anyone Actually Confirm Iran's Latest Rocket Launch?

Reuters is reporting that Iran announced the successful test launch of a new rocket. It's said to be a necessary step in moving towards launching an Iranian satellite into orbit.
Iran has successfully launched a rocket called "Kavosh 2," Iran's state media reported on Wednesday, displaying the Islamic state's advances in ballistics at a time when the West is worried about its nuclear ambitions.

The launch follows an announcement earlier this month that Iran had test-fired a new generation of surface-to-surface missile, saying the Islamic Republic was ready to defend itself against any attacker.

Tensions between Iran and Israel have been running high in recent months amid speculation of possible U.S. or Israeli strikes against Tehran's nuclear facilities, which the West suspects form part of a covert weapons program.

Tehran insists its nuclear work is aimed at generating electricity to meet Iran's booming demand.

State television did not give any further details about "Kavosh 2," which means "Explorer 2," saying details about the home-made rocket will be announced later. "The rocket was launched to register and send correct environmental data and (to test) separation of the engine from the body," state radio said.

The long-range ballistic technology used to put satellites into space can also be used for launching weapons.
The ability to put satellites into orbit would mean that Iran has crossed a dangerous threshold of technological capability.

Still, this report makes little sense since the Iranians claim their latest rocket is "home-made". That's not to say that home-made rockets can't be quite potent, but something doesn't quite pass the smell test.

The only way "home-made" makes sense is that it refers to domestically built Iranian rockets, rather than one built or modeled upon a foreign design (most typically the North Korean missiles).

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