The Islamic Republic of Iran announced yesterday that it had fired a rocket "into space" and transmitted footage of the launch on state media. The move drew instant condemnation from the Bush administration in America. According to Iranian state TV, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad personally called out the countdown before the …
What a shame they can't put some resources into building some more oil refining capacity. Despite being such a large exporter of crude oil, Iran is second only to the USA in importing refined product.
"President Ahmadinejad insists that Iran is not a threat to any country. ®"
and I'm a banana.......
with apologies to Ian Hislop
What a country!
They finally have pulled off what US private companies like Orbital Sciences (http://www.orbital.com/About/) have been doing for almost 30 years for anyone willing to pay the launch fee. Woo Hoo!
Those Iranian Scientists are so smart. Maybe by the Iranian government writing more checks they can reinvent the wheel too.
Am I the only one?
Am I the only one bored of Americas hypocrisy? Don't get me wrong, I don't particularly fancy standing in Hyde Park one day looking at the sky and saying "is it a bird? Is it a plane? Oh wait, I think it might be a nuke. Shi..." *BOOM* But why was it ok for the Yanks to develop ICBMs during the Cold War, but everybody else must be evil if they want to stick stuff in space too?
I reckon we should just hand out all the nukes in the world - one to each country. It'd be like a huge popularity contest, with the most hated countries glowing the brightest....
Iranian Rockets vs Propaganda
Applying for a job at CNN/Fox?
Given that the US probably wouldn't launch a satellite for them, why shouldn't they develop their own rockets if they've got the money. Especially if they've managed to do it without importing anything made in the US. As for nuclear devices, imagine what might happen if Iran lobbed one or two nukes at the US using the technology - how many would come back?
I'm sure that depriving them of the opportunities will in the longer-term lead to even more radicals, the same as has happened as a result of the last fifty years of US foreign policy.
I'm bored already...
I may well be alone in asking this, but, why are the US so obsessed with Iran? Why don't thery just button it and wait and see...
They kept on for months inflaming rows over the arms program after their own spooks (as you call them) had declared the nuclear program as "dead as Disco" (as I call it)...
Lets face it, the US have a paranoid puerile administration who are belligerent and bungling to the extreme.
That's a great plan, bud. In fact, it's the "reason" we have nuclear armaments; the Nuclear Deterrant (Mutually Assured Destruction).
However, the trouble starts when you remember Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other predominantly Islamic countries have a statistically higher frequency of fundamentalist populations who believe that it is the highest acclaim to have laid waste to fields of "infidels" from the West (or so the media would have us believe). They would have no trouble WHATSOEVER with nuking^H^H^H^H^H^Htesting their satellite delivery system over the western world.
"President Ahmadinejad has publicly predicted that Israel will not exist forever".
Enough with the lies.
Interestingly there are at least 8 countries that already have the capability to launch orbital payloads, including France, China, India and Israel. All of those quoted four also have nukes. There are a number of private companies also developing space vehicles.
None of these seem to cause the USA such angst.
No you're not.... Just do as I say and not as I do and we will get along just fine :)
@Ted Treen... Thankfully the US are such a benign bunch, the world is safe in their hands... providing it capitulates.
No. You're certainly not the only one.
I find the magnitude of their hypocrisy mind boggling!
Your point about ICBMs applies equally well to the whole "WMD" thing they've created. If the Americans are so anti nuclear proliferation wtf did they give them to Israel? Isn't it reasonably plausible that if one side has them then the other side might feel some need to get them? Didn't something like that happen during the cold war too?
Since when has "shock and awe" possibly meant anything other than "terrorism"?
Would it really be wise to terrorize large, populous nations with an already iffy attitude towards "The West", even if they didn't control most of the world's oil, into hating us?
And there's so much more! Why don't they EVER learn?
"You reap what you sow" is the expression, I believe. We are sowing.
Paris because she's American, and fairly typical it seems.
@ captain kangaroo
"why are the US so obsessed with Iran?"
Repeat after me....Oil and control of supply.
We're "obsessed" with Iran ever since their revolution took our citizens hostages.
Combine that with our country's support of Isreal and Iran's general hostile nature (and let's not forget their oil) we think they bear watching.
The fact that our current administration is paranoid and puerile does not necessarily mean that Iran isn't up to no good.
My question is why don't you Brits hold them in lower esteem?
After all, it was less than a year ago that they captured 15 of your sailors... Here's a refresher link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6484279.stm
Agreed. It is getting ridiculous. Why should Iran not be allowed to put its own satellite in space? If USA can, and Europe can, and China, Japan and India can, why not Iran?
This bothers me. It bothers me a great deal. Personally I'm expecting the US to cease to exist (as we now know it) within the next 20 years.
I have family and friends in the US. Lots of them. Ex-pats and Americans. I'm expecting there to be a sizeable unconventional explosion in at least one of their major cities any time now. This really does bother me. I don't think it might, just happen someday. I'm expecting it to happen. Why wouldn't it? If I was a civilian in Baghdad or Iran or maybe even further afield, I'd probably be fuming right now. Wouldn't you?
Meanwhile all the politicos seem to be getting all hot and bothered about global warming! I think some serious risk assessment needs to go on in high places! ...there might be a rise of global temperatures of a few degrees over the course of the next 100 years, and if there is, it might be unpleasant for some bears, maybe? Bring it on! Perhaps it'll help offset the nuclear winter a tiny bit.
I reckon if you asked many brits, they would hold them in low esteem. The issue seems to be (from my point of view anyway) that as far as everyone can tell, its a peaceful program, ergo by telling them there all terrorist jihadi scum (which is the message both yours and our countries politicians seem to send out) when our intelligence services are suggesting that they're doing nothing wrong kind of gives us a bad name.
And lets not forget there's plenty of countries already with less than ideal views of our countries currently packing nukes. Our sailors shouldn't have got themselves caught, and they way most of them conducted themselves both during and after their detention is, to me, an affront to everything that the british armed forces stand for, so I bear the Iranians no ill will for that.
See what you've done, you dragged me out from under my rock now!
Rant over, I think, and no ill will borne to anybody, honest :p
BillG - because if anyone has WMD's, its him...
That probably had something to do with where those sailors were serving at the time and what they were up to. Par for the course. Unfortunately.
Let Iran develop satellite tech.
After all, space access should be free to all!
/me checks my shares in anti-sat missile companies that could sell said tech to Israel......
And any money they waste on playing catch-up with the West will also keep their Revolving Guard armed with cheap N.Korean/Chinese junk for the foreseeable future.
Why is it unreasonable for Iran to seek a nuclear capability when there are so many, so obviously hostile, nuclear powers pointing the things at them?
Hypocrisy. Look it up.
Well Iran has one or two issues since like a great many countries ended up being a pawn in The Game. The west gave ammo and a long rope to Iraq while they were 'dealing' with Iran. So Iran does have an issue with the west. And still Russia continues to supply Ammo and anti-missile missile systems to Iran, there is no Iraq so the west continues to poke and prod them without a proxy. It's like baiting a caged animal.
And I think some missed a key point when they talked of fundamentalists, now our american friends may not like this and I do think of them as friends, this is one set of fundamentalists ie muslim squaring up against another ie chrisitian. Ooo it's like the crusades all over again.
On the other hand yep they took several Navy folk but that ended up being less about Iran and more about government incompetance when they sold their stories to the press. So you end up with America on one side, Iran etc on the other and the British generally end up in the middle trying to find some middle ground. It's how the Brits have done diplomacy for years and maybe it will head back that way now we have rid of that toad Blair.
Without wanting to take either side, becasue it's all 6 of one half a dozen of the other:
"It's unfortunate Iran continues to test ballistic missiles. This regime continues to take steps that only further isolate it and the Iranian people from the international community." Is hardly "Instant Condemnation", more like 'uhm, meh, I wish they wouldn't do that sort of thing'
However: "Given the firm commitment of Iran's foreign policy to the principles of peace, justice, respect for the rights of nations, and peaceful coexistence, there is no reason for anyone to worry," Isn't really that reassuring, because they don't recognise Israel as existing.
Both sides need to chill the fuck out and stop prevoking each other otherwise that war that they aren't really having in Iraq, (oh no, really, they're not at war, really), will end up being a very real war in Iran and none of us want that.
The thought of another major loss of life in the US as part of the War Against Terror scares me silly. The fact that these will be self inflicted (flying armed nukes around 'by accident' seems quite common over there) doesnt fill me with any less dread that the revenge will be terrible.
By revenge I mean excuse to attack someone who had nothing to do with it . Iraq 11/9 for example.
Iran may as well do what it wants. The US is going to fit it up anyway.
It's total bullshit
I'm completely tired of hearing about the dangers of Iran. A lot of what gets Americans hyped up is based on mistranslations anyway.
And let's face it: They're not acting irrationally. Think about it.
If Russia occupied Canada, what do you think the US would be doing? Attempting to influence the situation while at the same time seriously building up our military? You fucking bet! And it wouldn't be crazy to be doing so.
This is a big thing for Iran. First launch into space, AND first satellite. How many middle eastern countries are too busy blowing themselves up right now? Plenty of them. Yay for Iran.
And anyway, the US intelligence agencies very recently said out loud that they think Iran halted their nuclear weapons program back in 2003.
But you wouldn't hear that from Bush.
If the Iranians don't think that Isreal exist, they're hardly likely to waste precious Ammo on them...
"...the British generally end up in the middle trying to find some middle ground. It's how the Brits have done diplomacy for years and maybe it will head back that way now we have rid of that toad Blair."
Too right, but alas, I envy your optimism.
All I see is insanity on all sides...
There's nothing hypocritical about not wanting unfriendly states to have nuclear weapons.
It's not some great morality crusade, the US doesn't want a nuclear armed Iran because Iran is hostile to it and its allies. Hostile doesn't mean "about to attack" just that it has a generally unhelpful attitude from a US perspective.
It is possible of course, that the US would be more succesful at changing that attitude by means other than shaking a big stick around, but since they unfortunately backed the Shah during the revolution, it's hard for them to adopt any other stance.
Of course Irans space programme is intended to create weapons that are capable of hitting anywhere on the planet, that is how all the space programmes started. It's not hypocritical to not want them to be in that position.
As a citizen of a country allied to the US, I would rather it had a superior set of bombs to the countries that are openly hostile to us.
This line presumably is a reference to the famous wiped off the map quote which variously comes out as "The Imam said that this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time" or "The Imam said that Israel must be wiped off the map". Predicting that Israel will not exist froever is obviously choosing the milder translation.
"President Ahmadinejad has publicly predicted that Israel will not exist forever".
You do realize that the Bible also predicts the same.
Thanks for getting the Ahmadinejad vs. Israel quote right!
Thank you, Mr. Page, for finally getting the Ahmadinejad quote right. Far too many (certainly in the US press) have misquoted him as calling for the *destruction* of Israel, with the implication that that was what Iran intended to do. But that's *not* what Ahmadinejad said!
The effect was much like Krushchev's "We will bury you", which got whipped into being taken as intent to attack the US. But that's not what the Russian phrase meant at all. It was more like "see you at your funeral" -- i.e., we will outlive you, History is on our side, etc. Might well express contempt, but contempt is not aggressive war.
@ captain kangaroo
Why is Washington so obsessed with Iran?
Easy - it used to be theirs. They once had a tame dictator with impeccable fashion sense and a ready love of torture to act as a balwark against the Soviet Union. Sadly the people of Iran were less enamoured of the Shah than those in the West (even after many of them had been tortured to love him all the more) and got rid of him in a revolution. This had the nasty side-effect of putting some religious nutters with an even more free-loving addiction to torture and terror in charge of one of the largest oil reserves in the World.
All in all, not a good thing.
So it was time for plan B. America (and its faithful sidekick Britain) found another accommodating Middle Eastern dictator who if anything was even more stylish and torture happy than the erstwhile Shah. They promised him lots and lots of weapons (including some of the grown up toys) if he'd just pop next door and hold an impromptu invasion on our behalf.
Sadly, the Iranians didn't play ball, and despite our new best friend getting lots of satellite info cribs and gee-whizz poison gas, they didn't roll over and die (well not all of them at least).
After ten years of murder, mayhem and merriment, things were pretty much where they started; Iraq said 'sorry' to the mullahs and did the silliest thing imaginable by invading an even bigger oil field.
They weren't our friends any more! We were especially angry when we found out the Iraqis weren't as silly as we'd thought and had actually read the instruction leaflets on all those nuclear thingumjigs, biological doohickies and chemical wadjamacallits we'd sold them - and been building grown-up weapons.
This was not only bad, it was wrong, which is where the current Middle Eastern hilarity all began.
@Dave Why not?
> if Iran lobbed one or two nukes at the US using the technology - how many would come back?
Interesting question. Given that the yanks haven't put a nuke on a rocket, fired it and detonated the bomb for well over 40 years they may be a little rusty. It's over 15 year (1992) since they even popped one off underground, so the scientists who have tested american weapons are all retired now and none of the current generation know how to do anything except simulate!
Maybe thet'd have to go cap in hand to the North Loreans and ask how it's done for real :-)
"We're "obsessed" with Iran ever since their revolution took our citizens hostages."
Do a little searching to see WHY.
The US and UK overthrow a democratically elected Primeminster of Iran and installed the tyrant known as the Shah of Iran. And you wonder why!?
How the F*** the US and UK (and the rest of the "West") can claim to want Democracy in the region when they perform acts like that.
... and No, they haven't changed...
FIS were elected in Algeria in the early 90s... they were done away with...
Hamas were elected... they are sidestepped and ignored.
The only time that democracy is supported by the "West" is when a pliant, subservient, kiss-ass govt is elected that will do as they are told.
So long as that is the status-quo, the WoT will never end...
"We're "obsessed" with Iran ever since their revolution took our citizens hostages."
It a shame that, as far as most Americans are concerned, the first event in Iranian history was the seizing of American citizens. If you look back a little further - say 1953 - the picture looks a lot different. The US and UK overthrew a democratic, secular government to protect oil profits. They then imposed a dictator on the population and the CIA trained the nastiest secret police force the world has ever seen, namely SAVAK.
After suffering under a US imposed oppressive regime for 25 years while you syphoned off their oil wealth, it's not surprising that they were a little pissed off with you guys. They also have good memories.
"My question is why don't you Brits hold them in lower esteem?"
Because they haven't really done anything to deserve the way the US is attacking them. Also, the last time I checked, they weren't the ones breaking international law. To be honest, I hold them in in about as much esteem as I hold the US or the UK.
"After all, it was less than a year ago that they captured 15 of your sailors... Here's a refresher link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6484279.stm"
They detained 15 sailors who were operating in disputed territory just off the Iranian coast. These sailors were returned unharmed with a nice new suit each - a damn site better than the treatment dished out by the US and UK to civillians. If the Iranians were stopping and searching boats in the English Channel, you can be sure that the Royal Navy would have something to say about it.
Why are people so afraid of Iran having nukes?
What would they do with them?
They know if they ever use them (on Israel or a NATO country or Russia, does not matter) they will be bombed out of existence.
If they will ever give them to terrorists - ditto (you can easily trace the origins of fissionable material, so everybody will know where the bomb came from).
Now does anyone think ayatollas are suicidal maniacs? Ready to martyr their entire country and themselves for the better of humanity? Don't be stupid.
Ayatollas want to keep their power, control and their own comfortable lives. If you're dead you don't have any of that.
If there is no motive there will not be a crime.
The only people in whose interest it is to scaremonger are Bush & co. But there it is quite clear - the moneys they can thus divert to the "defence" industry clearly worth the risk of looking like an idiot in the eyes of the posterity. There is also the issue of losing the money flowing from the pro-Israeli lobby, which helps the explanation.
Ahmedinejad will also not exist forever - and the chances of Iran having deep enough pockets to build up an armoury of long range nukes is slim...
He got in by promising to improve the lot of the poor, and all he has done is make everyone poorer, except the corrupt mullocracy. They did have a secular democracy once, before the CIA staged a coup at the UKs suggestion.
@Steve & Coward
OK, for sake of brevity in rebuttal to Capt. Kangaroo I didn't do a complete recount of all US/UK/Iranian history, yet I am not ignorant of those facts.
Yes, the Shah and SAVAK weren't boy scouts. Neither was Sadam and the Republican Guard.
Both were opposed to someone we disliked even more at the time. The enemy of my current enemy is my current friend.
In both cases there were reprocussions from those alliances.
Dead bird because there isn't a dead horse icon to beat.
"If you are not with us, you are with the terrorists."
Wise words by a great man. America is God's country and therefore is ALWAYS in the right! How DARE you critisize us? If it wasn't for us you wouldn't even HAVE the internet! You people should be grateful to the USA. AT LEAST WE HAD THE BACKBONE TO STOP IRAQ FROM BECOMING A TERRORIST STATE.
The same must be done with Iran, I hear that they may have been behind 9/11 too. Okay, so a few people died, but sometimes you have to break a few eggs to make an omlette. Besides, God doesn't really pay attention to what happens in those backward dumbass countries anyway.
And as far as the oil is concerned, we take that as payment for doing the right thing. Americans died.
You people need to learn more gratitude towards your betters.
God Bless America!
Looking at the larger picture, entropy dictates that the Earth, Solar System, local galaxy et. al. will not exist forever, let alone Israel!
If you can just stop throwing the screwed up paper at me, I'll go to the coat rack.
"Ayatollas want to keep their power, control and their own comfortable lives. If you're dead you don't have any of that."
While that's might even be true, I'm also willing to admit the possibility that some people _are_ fanatical about their religion.
Since you talk about "ayatollahs" generally, I'll point you at the fact that during the shah's regime, being the ayatollah was more of a horrible death sentence, than a comfortable position of power. The SAVAK (the shah's secret police) killed at least two Ayatollahs. One they burned alive (and I don't know about this particular case, but IIRC at least some such executions were more like slowly roasting alive, and make even the Inquisition version seem merciful and civilized.) The other, they removed his eyelids and forced him to watch as they raped his daughter. He died later from the complications.
You have to believe in _something_ to lead the resistance in the face of such brutal repression. Be it religion, or some nationalist ideals, or whatever. But, you know, you don't risk burning alive if you just want comfortable power. Especially when the odds of actually winning that power don't look so great. It's a bit like playing the russian roulette with only one chamber empty.
A lot of the current ayatollahs are the same that fought against the shah. "Supreme Leader" and grand ayatollah Khamenei was (A) involved together with the old Khomeini in the islamic revolution, and (B) pretty much personally selected by Khomeini as a successor... Dunno, I have no trouble accepting that maybe the guy genuinely believes in his islamic vision.
Note that I'm not saying that his islamist utopia is right or wrong. Just that there's a distinct possibility that he genuinely believes in it.
As an iranian I think mullahs won't use it as they know it's the last thing they will do. they just want to have it to do whatever they want to do in iran and abroad.
Ahmadinejhad told he will remove the poverty, it's not a lie or any thing just he didn't said he will do it by making the poor men the dead men. They just don't care about the country, the only important thing for them is regime itself.
Also As I know the biggest foreign help for mullahs and starting the Islamic republic of iran was USA. This may sound odd but as far as I know it's true. Very sad.
The man says to ahmadinejhad: "can't you go with this?".
"Mutually Assured Destruction" only works when both sides are concerned about going up in a cloud. Iran and the extremist Islam sect have made it clear that they harbor no fear dying 'in the name of Alla.' They consider it martyrdom and are looking forward to the day they get however many virgins it is they get in heaven.
Even though the USA may be at odds with China and other countries around the world, the MAD threat holds them at bay because they are sane. If Iran, Syria, and some northeastern African nations had nukes, they would chuck them at their enemies the first chance they got, and die with the satisfaction that they took out some of the 'infidels' with them. Much as a suicide bomber.
The turkeys and chicken little's seem to be flying higher and faster then a failed and grounded supersonic Concorde Airliner today for some strange reason !
As Paris would say with so many wankers running around with the self induced paranoia of chicken little syndrome , you may proceed with this nonsense at flank emergency full ahead speed forthwith !
@steve given the current penurious state of the Royal Navy , they would need to borrow a local life boat and beg for some free fuel just to hail a row boat off Portsmouth as for the English channel forget it !
How to demonize a country
1. Point out how 'those' people are just not like us regular normal folks.
2. Take things that they do, and put the evil spin on it.
3. Point out how easy it would be for them to harm us if the really wanted to.
4. Show pictures of how ugly they are.
5. Make propaganda about how ugly/unreasonable/aggressive they are to display in the local media.
I only draw up this list off the top of my head because I remember this happening during the cold war. I remember all Russian women being old with large calves, I remember communists having no morals because they were godless, I remember movies portraying young Americans defeating the evil communist machine.
Then I found out that lots of Russian women are really good looking. I realised that no-one except America has ever used nuclear weapons in anger. That when Americans have wars, it's more about stand off weapons platforms than Johnny Hero fighting to save a child. Neither the governments of Iraq, Iran, or Afghanistan sponsored 9/11, or have ever attacked the UK or the US on their own soil (that was 'Al-Qa'ida' not the Taliban).
So, to make a few points. Iranians are just like us. Their leaders are not insane, they are a good deal less likely to sponsor foreign violence than the UK or the US, and they have beautiful women. If they are making satellites, that's what probably all they are doing, if they are making nuclear reactors, that's all they are doing.
what exactly are the states worried about?
Iran getting a missile that may or may not lob a nuke somewhere, shorlty before most or Iran starts to glow in the dark.
Iran getting the ability to launch and control say a spy sat, without any other country that can be leaned on to cut them off or alter it.
I mean wars are won and lost based on intel. so if anyone decides to try something in the region, and there is an unfriendly country with sta images of it...
just a thought.
the US and USSR/Russia have had it their own way in space for a long time, and I dare say don't like anyone else getting the toys.
as an aside though, Iran trying to do this from scratch may scare the states more since this way they learn how to do it.. simply buying toys they don't understand makes them easier to control. kind of like China, pinch an old soviet design, then re engineer it, dare say they can make their own now.
me? Iran getting the ability to launch a rocket, even a sub orbital one is progress. and progress never hurts, if they want to play with modern toys they will need an educated class. countries with educated people tend to be smart, and smart countries generally don't start wars.
this is a good thing to my simple mind
"Yes, the Shah and SAVAK weren't boy scouts. Neither was Sadam and the Republican Guard."
throw the ISI in there and you have the whole set
what's the connection? all supported by uncle sam for a significant period
dead bird to signify the eagle of freedom is a dead turkey
Foreign powers sponsoring terrorists
I suppose I should also point out that a certain domestic terror group here in the UK was, until around 9/11 funded pretty extensively by a certain star spangled country over the pond... Every country in this world has people who firmly believe in causes that are at odds with others, be it religious fundamentalists, people who consider themselves freedom fighters/patriots or whatever. The point is, that is NOT a reflection on the majority of the population, and to say things like "Iran and the extremist Islam sect have made it clear that they harbor no fear dying 'in the name of Alla.'" is kind of like saying "America and the xenophobic bush government harbour no fear killing their allies through domestic terror groups 'in the name of freedom'".
Its an unfair statement, - for a start Iran is a hunk of land with no particular feelings one way or the other, the people are called IRANIANS. And I'm willing to bet a fair few of them have no intention of dying for anything. Hell, if I can forgive the Irish I can damn well forgive the iranians - until recently we'd had no bother since the embassy siege in the 80's, then all of a sudden it seems like the whole middle east hates us in recent years, funny that...
@AC:If you are not with us, you are with the terrorists.
This is a joke right?
If not, I am surprised you were smart enough to find the hole your PC is plugged into, let alone type that insane rant. Maybe the person who gives you the depot injection and wipes the dribble from your mouth did it for you.
If there was a god, he/she/it would not be blessing America, he/she/it would be shaking his/her/its head in despair. The fact that people like you exist just proves god doesn't.
I don't normally post anonymously but you seem dangerously insane.
"After all, it was less than a year ago that they captured 15 of your sailors..."
15 IDIOTS who were arsing around in a MILITARY boat in Iranian territorial waters. It's so pathetic, it's like pulling a dog's tail over and over again until it bites you so you can justify having it put down. Iran is NOT going to attack Israel or the US or the UK - and there's ZERO evidence to indicate that they ever would.