back to article Iran fires rocket 'into space', plans satellite for '09

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 …

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  1. JohnG Silver badge

    Oil refineries

    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.

  2. Ted Treen
    Boffin

    @Ian Hislop

    "President Ahmadinejad insists that Iran is not a threat to any country. ®"

    and I'm a banana.......

    with apologies to Ian Hislop

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    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.

  4. Ross

    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....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Iranian Rockets vs Propaganda

    Applying for a job at CNN/Fox?

  6. Dave

    Why Not?

    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.

  7. captain kangaroo
    Stop

    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.

  8. Ash
    Black Helicopters

    @Ross

    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.

  9. Pete Smith
    Stop

    Please

    "President Ahmadinejad has publicly predicted that Israel will not exist forever".

    Enough with the lies.

  10. GettinSadda
    Alert

    Hypocrisy indeed!

    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.

  11. adnim Silver badge

    @Ross

    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.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @ Ross

    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?

    It's bonkers.

    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.

  13. Bryan

    @ captain kangaroo

    "why are the US so obsessed with Iran?"

    Repeat after me....Oil and control of supply.

  14. Im_Gumby
    Alert

    @Capt. Kangaroo

    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

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Ross

    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?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    @Ross

    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.

  17. Daniel Wilkie
    Gates Horns

    @Im_Gumby

    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...

  18. Fox
    IT Angle

    @Im_Gumby

    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.

  19. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Happy

    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.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    @Ash

    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.

  21. Stuart Wells

    @ Everyone

    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.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm...

    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.

  23. Tom Silver badge

    @Anonymous Coward

    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.

  24. Joe Cooper
    Thumb Up

    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.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    @Isreal?

    If the Iranians don't think that Isreal exist, they're hardly likely to waste precious Ammo on them...

  26. Fox
    Alien

    @Stuart Wells

    "...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.

  27. Dave Ross
    Unhappy

    Insanity

    All I see is insanity on all sides...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Hypocrisy

    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.

    @Pete Smith

    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.

  29. Joel Joseph

    Re: Please

    "President Ahmadinejad has publicly predicted that Israel will not exist forever".

    You do realize that the Bible also predicts the same.

  30. Stuart Levy
    Thumb Up

    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.

  31. Mike Richards Silver badge

    @ 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.

  32. Pete Silver badge

    @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 :-)

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    @Im_Gumby

    "We're "obsessed" with Iran ever since their revolution took our citizens hostages."

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Iran+1952+govt+overthrow

    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...

  34. Steve

    @Im_Gumby

    "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.

  35. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    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.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re please

    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...

    http://www.payvand.com/news/08/jan/1258.html#_ednref2

    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.

  37. Im_Gumby
    Dead Vulture

    @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.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    "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!

  39. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
    Coat

    Israel

    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.

  40. Hans Mustermann
    Flame

    @Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    "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.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Please,

    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.

    http://www.roozonline.com/archives/2008/02/post_6018.php

    The man says to ahmadinejhad: "can't you go with this?".

  42. Steven

    Iranian Nukes

    "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.

  43. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton

    Hmmm,

    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 !

  44. heystoopid
    Go

    @steve

    @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 !

  45. Matware
    Heart

    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.

  46. Claire Rand

    missiles.. bwah.

    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.

    or

    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

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    @Im_gumby

    "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

  48. Daniel Wilkie

    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...

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @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.

  50. Frank Bough
    Unhappy

    Im_Gumby

    "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.

  51. Hans Mustermann
    Flame

    @Claire Rand

    Actually, there are all sorts of nastiness one could do in space, if one is crazy enough to start a war.

    E.g., here's a simple scenario: put a few kilos of small metal balls in counter orbit. Preferably uranium ones, since it's very hard and heavy for its size. Basically space buckshot. The impact speeds against anything in that orbit band depends on the actual orbit, but, for example sake, let's take geostationary. Normal orbital speed is around 3 km/s, impacting with something going the other way around in the same orbit is twice that, so that's about 6 km/s impact speed. They'll shred anything up there.

    Admittedly, it's a very unlikely scenario, since shredding every countries sats would count as an act of war against the whole world. But, as sf scenarios go, it's a feasible one, and needs a smaller rocket than those huge spy sats.

    Again, I'm not saying Iran would do this. It's a safe bet they wouldn't. I'm just saying, for everyone wondering what can they do with a rocket in space, well, that's one thing you can theoretically do.

  52. lglethal Silver badge

    How iran differs from the other nuclear armed coutries

    Is that (with the possible exception of Pakistan) militant groups who's sole purpose is to destroy another country (ie Hezbollah and its mission to destroy Israel) are not provided with the latest and greatest weapons to go fight their wars for them. The vast majority of the rockets fired into Israel during the Hezbollah-Israel conflict last year were Iranian designed, made AND supplied Rockets.

    And this supply was done with very little international condemnation. If a nuclear armed Hezbollah was supplied by Iran and then proceeded to attack Israel what would happen. My guess is that it would be about the same as what happened after last years war. Iran saying it had nothing to do with Hezbollah, Hezbollah claiming likewise, the international community impotent to act decisively and Iran and Hezbollah secret clapping each other on the back.

    The fear facing the west becomes that if the Iranians give nuclear armed rockets to Hezbollah, once there finished with Israel who else do they have a grudge against?

  53. Paul Murray
    Jobs Horns

    Oil and control of supply

    Youy don't need to control supply when you can buy as much as you wish by printing money. The problem with Saddam and now Iran is their plans to sell their oil in euro. The Iranian oil bourse opens this week, I belive.

  54. C. B. Legier

    @ Matware

    I wish I had this inside track into all this factual data you have.

    "...I remember communists having no morals because they were godless,..."

    As if the Russians were not saying the same thing about Americans? Search on "Russian Cold War Propaganda." There are two sides to every coin.

    "...I realized that no-one except America has ever used nuclear weapons in anger..."

    Yes. However we have never used them in any of the last four wars the United States has declared or any of the number of wars/conflicts the United States has participated in. I would like to believe that a "reality check" set in after Hiroshima and Nagasaki back in early August of 1945.

    "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."

    Probably doing? All they are doing? Can you get me in your fav' five with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Osama Bin Laden, Al-Qa'ida and the Hizbullah. I think your optimism is blinding what is actually right in front of you.

  55. C. B. Legier

    @ Daniel Wilkie

    "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..."

    Do you have some truth to back that up? If we were so intent on funding them, why were we so intent on tracking him in 1995 after the surfacing of the "Oplan Bojinka" which was funded by the leader of that so called terrorist group?

    Die Michael Moore, die!

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    @lglethal

    Don't be daft

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No Problem

    Nothing to worry about really. As soon as Iran actually gets to the point where they present a real threat Israel will take action. The West and the UN will still be talking.

  58. Matware
    Pirate

    @C. B. Legier

    Hmmm I guess you missed the point I was making....

    So to bang you over the head with it...

    Iran could do absolutely anything with rockets and power plants, but until they actually do something they are just regular folks who are peacefully living their lives. Any talk of how dangerous they could possible be on a Wednesday with the wind blowing in the right directions is just propaganda, because Everybody could be that dangerous on said Wednesday, we just don't feel the need to talk about it.

    Iran hasn't in anyway demonstrated that they capable, or intend to do any of the things people are freaking out about. YOUR country has demonstrated both the intention and a propensity, and listening to Republican presidential candidates talk in the debates, they say the are willing to 'push the button'. Iran's leadership are saying they they only want to use these technologies for peacefully purposes, they could be lying which is bad, but your guys could be telling the truth, which scares the shit out of me.

    Forget about what 'could' happen because the sky is the limit, and focus on what has happened, is happening, and what leaders say they are willing to do in the future...

  59. Solomon Grundy
    Pirate

    Why Would They?

    The whole Iran/Israel/Middle East Jew/Christian/Muslim mess is a dispute over holy land and holy sites right? Why would the Iranians want to blow up these sacred places?

    I'm no politico, but it seems sort of counterintuitive to explode/melt/irradiate the thing you are trying to liberate - cutting off nose to spite face sort of thing.

  60. Daniel Wilkie

    @C.B. Leiger

    30seconds googling (I'm at work) - I'm sure someone else will find something before I get back...

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/1563119.stm

    I'm hoping that you took note of the fact I was primarily trying to illustrate the hypocrisy of the situation rather than rile anyones back or suggest that every American sponsors terrorism, my intention is to make them (you? don't know whether your a yank or not, you're certainly argumentative enough to be another brit ;) realise that thats EXACTLY whats being suggested - that every Iranian wants to destroy the entire western world, which quite frankly, is a load of bollocks.

  61. Andy Worth

    @ Ash

    Nice to see that you have believed every tiny bit of propoganda that the press have thrown at you. It's designed to keep people behind this "war on terror" when in fact it's just the U.S. governments way of trying to extend their "superiority" for a few more years at least. Don't be surprised if the war on terror changes focus to include Iran as well in the very near future.

    You seem to be under the impression that the U.S. government are somehow more serene and gentle than they are. At one point, they brought the whole world to the brink of nuclear war, along with the old U.S.S.R.

    That said, I don't want any other countries to develop nuclear weapons, not because I consider them a threat directly to me, but because every "conflict" then has the threat of going nuclear. If I had my way, nuclear weapons would be obliterated en-masse, but that's not really realistic is it?

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @C.B Legier

    "..."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..."

    Do you have some truth to back that up? If we were so intent on funding them, why were we so intent on tracking him in 1995 after the surfacing of the "Oplan Bojinka" which was funded by the leader of that so called terrorist group?

    Die Michael Moore, die!..."

    He is talking about the widely held belief in the UK (not without evidence) that the US funded the pIRA. This has been discussed in, amongst other US organs, The New York Times, when opinion pieces after 9/11 started to suggest that the Provos aren't actually freedom fighters sticking it to The Man, rather a bunch of dangerous terrorist criminals, who probably shouldn't be funded or given weapons.

    As for Michael Moore, if you read any of his books, you'll see that he is rather deluded abuot the whole pIRA/Freedom Fighter/Terrorist thing as well. Lots of stuff about how they are misunderstood nice chaps, very little about punnishment beatings, organised crime, smuggling, nailing people to pavements, murders, cover ups, training the FARC.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @ Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Your logic (that nobody wants mutual destruction, therefore nobody will start a nuclear war) is outdated and does not work any more. Suicide bombers show that they are willing to sacrifice themselves in order to kill others - why would an (unnamed) Iranian leader not be willing to put himself forever in the history books as a 'martyr' by dropping a satellite nuke on the US?

    Let me put it this way - if you knew that the Iranians had both nukes and satellites, would you move to New York?

    Not that I'm an apologist for the US govt, but I can understand their paranoia. I just hope the US doesn't act irrationally (again) and cause a bigger problem..

    On the plus side, look at Germany, Italy and Japan. Sixty-odd years ago they were enemies and not to be trusted at all. Even the Russians have become somewhat friends.. Hopefully the world is heading in the right direction...

  64. Ross

    Don't fear nukes

    Ok, there are a lot of comments here about Iran building it's own nukes and either shooting them into space, or giving them to 3rd parties to use against Israel etc.

    Presuming Iran overcomes many serious technological hurdles and builds a nuke, what do they do with it? They can try to blow up the USA/Israel with it, but how do they know it will go off? They don't! That means they have a rather unfortunate choice -

    1. Activate it anyway

    2. Test it

    If (when?) it fails to go off the USA has the excuse it is so deperate for to invade Iran. Alternatively if the weapon is tested first every country with seismology gear goes ape shit and the USA invade Iran.

    If you live in America/the UK the nukes you should be fearing are the ones your government built. Accidents will happen...

  65. Dimitrov
    Alert

    @ Steven

    Saying that the mollahs, iranians or all muslims for that matter have no problem dying for their religion is as stupid as saying that the Soviet Politburo had no problem starting a nuclear war with the United States. The argument could go that as communists they believe that the world revolution is inevitable, thus starting a war and dying for the cause wouldn't change anything.

    As we all know that didn't happen. The USSR didn't start tossing nukes around the globe just because they had no problem doing so from ideological point of view. People in power are not lunatics, even if they look so. Thus your argument that Iran could become one big suicidal bomber is asinine, to say the least.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Ross

    Or, they could build two nukes, test one, then happen to mention that they have another and a delivery system for it.

    I'm not saying that this is what they are going to do, just that if I were wanting to come onto the stage as a nuke power and not wanting to get beaten up by the bigger boys, this is what I'd do. Maybe I'd also make the other side think I was a bit crazy, possibly crazy enough to set it off.

  67. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    @ACs

    "I hear that they may have been behind 9/11 too."

    So you're hearing voices, aren't you? They say that everyone you don't like may have been behind 9/11, right? That would be a gay islamo-marxist feminist activist, wearing Che t-shirt, coolie hat and untrimmed beard, right?

    "Suicide bombers show that they are willing to sacrifice themselves"

    Never heard of one Iranian ayatolla-suicide bomber yet.

    "Your logic (that nobody wants mutual destruction, therefore nobody will start a nuclear war) is outdated and does not work any more.......why would an (unnamed) Iranian leader not be willing to put himself forever in the history books as a 'martyr' by dropping a satellite nuke on the US?"

    Dropping 1 or 2 home-made nukes on the US and getting wiped off the face of the Earth in return hardly looks like a *mutual* destruction to me. Looks pretty one-sided to me actually. One must be a total idiot to think that it's a good trade off and ayatollas are not idiots, otherwise they would not have been at the top of a ruling elite of a large country.

    Now, dropping one or two tactical nukes on Iran, knowing that you can do it with impunity would look much more tempting. I am therefore much more concerned of what the Bushists can do than the Iranians.

  68. C. B. Legier
    Stop

    To many... Just read...

    @ Matware

    You just responded with "If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it MIGHT be a duck." Might be? Do not be so naive.

    Here are my examples:

    #1 - Matware: "Iran could do absolutely anything with rockets and power plants, BUT UNTIL THEY ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING, they are just regular folks who are peacefully living their lives."

    Until they do? It is not propaganda. Iranian President Ahmadinejad has flat out said "Israel and the United States will soon be destroyed." So you want to stand by naive until the worst happens? Look it up.

    #2 Matware: "...listening to Republican presidential candidates talk in the debates, they say the are willing to 'push the button'."

    They said "Push the button"? Please give me a quote relating to anything of the sort.

    #3 Matware: "...Iran's leadership are saying they they only want to use these technologies for peacefully purposes, THEY COULD BE LYING WHICH IS BAD..."

    They could be? FFS, so do you think they could or not? Make up your mind and stop playing the fence. If you cannot stand firm, back-up or argue your point, then please STFU.

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