back to article Iranian rocket puts satellite into orbit

Iran says it has successfully launched its first satellite into orbit using domestic technology. The launch, while expected, will be seen by some in the West as confirming the view that Iran could have nuclear-tipped intercontinental missiles relatively soon. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad receives news of the …

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  1. Colin MacLean
    Thumb Up

    BBC stealth reporters?

    Interesting to note Pres Dinnerjacket is flanked by Dave Angel from the Fast Show and Richard Stilgoe of Nationwide fame.

    Good move from the Beeb, given that John Simpson's smug visage must already be known in every evil empire going.

  2. Chris Miller

    Black Arrow

    A British launch vehicle that placed a British satellite into orbit in 1971, making the UK the 6th nation to launch its own satellite. Cancelled by the Heath government, the scientists at Woomera launched the last vehicle anyway (by some accounts with permission ...) thus making the UK the first nation to give up a satellite launching capability :((

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Correction

    Britain has independently put a satellite in orbit. On 28 October 1971 a Black Arrow rocket put the Prospero X-3 satellite in orbit from Woomera, Australia making Britain the 6th nation to place a satellite in orbit.

    I was at the site on the Isle of Wight this September where the rockets were tested before being shipped out to Australia. It's right next to the Needles, a great case of what might have been, if only the funding hadn't been cut, just at the moment of success...

  4. Putrescine
    Stop

    Errata

    "The UK, for instance, has never built a rocket capable of [putting a satellite in orbit]"

    Not so. Details of the UK's former satellite launch capbility are here:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7862827.stm

    and here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Arrow

    Although the line "As of 2007, the UK is the only state to have successfully developed and then abandoned satellite launch capability" is pretty damning in itself.

  5. Steven Cox
    Dead Vulture

    Are you sure?

    "With the launch, Iran joins a select group of nations able to put objects into orbit around the Earth. The UK, for instance, has never built a rocket capable of doing this, has no civil space launching capability, and is reliant on US-supplied Trident missiles to carry its nuclear weapons."

    Can i refer you to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Arrow

    and also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_first_orbital_launches_by_country

  6. Anthony Cunningham

    Been There - Done That

    "The UK, for instance, has never built a rocket capable of doing this"

    Google "Black Knight" and Prospero.

  7. Nathan Jennings
    Stop

    Um Excuse Me but..

    I know people keep re writting history but the UK did have a rocket capable of this and it was succesful in putting a satellite into space - Black Arrow http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Arrow

  8. Joe Spaghettio

    The uk has launched a satellite into orbit

    Prospero X-3 was launched on a black arrow rocket in 1971, both the satellite and the rocket where uk built.

  9. Jeff
    Stop

    Wrong, what about Prospero X-3?

    As per the title, we did it 5th... It wasn't launched from the UK, but the article says we've never built a rocket capable of putting objects in orbit. Clearly we have, and a long time before most other people.

  10. Dave Edmondston
    Go

    Pigs in space

    Has anyone mentioned Prospero X-3 and Black Arrow yet?

  11. Mike Shepherd
    Thumb Up

    You bet...

    You bet they have "weapons in mind as much as the peaceful uses of space" and they should get them working ASAP. It's all that keeps the "regime change" cowboys at bay.

  12. Sweep

    Correction

    The UK did formerly have sat launch capability.

    I refer you to

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/03/iran_satellite_launch/comments/

  13. /\/\j17

    I may be missing the point but...

    ...am I the only one who thinks President Ahmadinejad's trousers are pulled up a little too far. It's almost Cowell-esque.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    We beat you (sort of)

    Australia launched its first satellite, WRESAT, on 29 November 1967 from Woomera, Australia; however, a United States Redstone rocket, not an Australian rocket, was used in the launch.

  15. DT

    Say it ain't so!

    What a dent to the PRIDE of the GREAT EMPIRE.

    I for one am glad that taxpayer's money isn't being wasted on duplicating effort when off the shelf solutions are available.

  16. Clifton Wray
    Thumb Up

    Brits in Space

    Wrong!!!! Britain put a satellite in orbit in the 1970s called Prospero, launched by Black Arrow. Due to the short sightedness of those in Westminster this ability was abandoned, along with Blue Streak, ELDO, Black Prince, RZ2, Gamma Eight and Bristol Stentor engines. Our time will come again - look for Skylon and Lapcat on the internet!

  17. Martin Winchester

    Addendum...

    Not forgetting of course the Blue Streak 1st stage to the aborted Europa launcher... worked every time, it was the french, german and italian bits that kept breaking...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Streak_missile

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europa_rocket

    Can I suggest Lewis, that at lunchtime you take yourself off to the Science Museum in South Kensington and have a good look at the the space gallery, as the forth Black Arrow, R4, is on display there, together with a mock up of Prospero, the original of which incidentally is still in orbit and functioning...

    MW

  18. Mad as a Bat
    Thumb Up

    @Colin MacLean

    Check out the guy on the right of the picture. Isn't that Tony Blackburn wearing a fake beard?

  19. Dunstan Vavasour
    Boffin

    "Nuclear tipped warheads"

    What does this mean? Presumably a payload which was to cause a nuclear explosion would be a "nuclear warhead". Is a "nuclear tipped warhead" a conventional warhead with a radioactive payload - a dirty bomb?

    I still think the chances of Iran managing to make any sort of fission bomb, let alone H-bomb, which actually goes bang are about zero.

  20. WarrenG

    I think this is fantastic news...

    If Israel ever needed a kick up the arse Iran is the nation to do it.

  21. Elmer Phud

    @ Mad as a Bat

    "Isn't that Tony Blackburn wearing a fake beard?"

    Nope, 'cos he doesn't have the Blackburn fake smile/rictus grin

    Another chapter in the book of 'Ours are good -- Thiers are bad" has been written. It must be nearly time to declare Afghanistan as 'sorted' and move into Iran (again).

  22. Geoff May

    Next generation British satelites?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7862827.stm

  23. Austin Tayshus

    So do we or don't we?

    Surely someone can figure out if the UK has homegrown satellite delivery capability? Seriously, it's not rocket science....

  24. Michael
    Thumb Down

    UK Rockets

    The only problem is that youve as much chance as the UK re-launching their own sats as you have spotting Doctor Who's tardis strapped to the back of a stampeding elephant..(unless you live in norwich)

    Is there anything we actually do ourselves anymore??? What happended to this country???? I am off to ask the US for indefinate right to remain... They seem to have a plan unlike Brown...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @ WarrenG

    Israel - kick up the arse ? They already have nuclear weapons

    see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction

    ...and have punished Mordechai Vanunu, the person who made this public...

    see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mordechai_Vanunu

    He cannot leave Israel or talk to journalists and is effectively under state arrest.

    I'm afraid no one needs a kick up the arse. Pakistan is the only Islamic state to have tested, working weapons; with them, India, North Korea and Israel are the only nations who have nuclear weapons outside the NPT.

    The existence of other nations' development efforts needs careful verification before a US/UK strike because of the fiasco of WMD in Iraq. Of course, the US could simply ask Israel to carry out a strike and then later block any Security Council effort reprimanding them. Presidents change, those who bankroll Senators in the US do not.

  26. Mike Richards

    Any independent corroberation?

    Has anyone other than the Iranians tracked the satellite yet?

    They wouldn't be the first country to claim to have put something into orbit but failed to do so. In 1998, North Korea, that other workers' paradise, claimed to have orbited Kwangmyongsong-1 playing proletarian toe-tappers such as "Song of General Kim Il Sung" and "Song of General Kim Jong Il". Despite millions of people twiddling their radio knobs to pick up these heady tunes, not a whisper was ever heard and it is believed that the launch was either just a missile test or that the satellite never reached orbital velocity.

    Speaking of our fun-loving Stalinist friends, I see they're planning on making things in Asia just a bit more exciting than they were already:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5647653.ece

    Mike.

  27. Mike

    @Dunstan Vavasour

    >>I still think the chances of Iran managing to make any sort of fission bomb, let alone H-bomb, which actually goes bang are about zero.

    I probably couln't make a gun, but doesn't mean I couln't get one.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Buck up Engerland!

    You may not have a viable launch vehicle, or a space program to speak of, but can Iran lay claim to the Series II Landrover or the Harrison marine chronometer? Hell no!

    For every potential Iranian Astronaut leaping child-like across the moon's surface beneath the earthrise, there must be a hundred weathered farm folk trundling unstoppably across England's green and pleasant lands at the helm of the redoubtable Series II and god knows how many tall ships bringing the mother country rum and exotic root vegetables from the mysterious West Indies without fear of winding up in Ibiza!

    It may not have the glamour or drama of re-entry but how many swaledales can you fit in the back of a Soyuz? Not enough, my friends, even if you only bring along a small plutocrat. But a Landrover? A man need never leave the flock behind with a Landrover!

  29. Frank Bough
    Unhappy

    "Homemade"

    the BBC managed to massively patronise the Iranians this morning describing their satellite as "homemade". Presumably these twats have no idea that Great Britain has never achieved such a thing.

    Well done Iran. I only wish our aggression towards you and your idiotic theocracy would end. In that order.

  30. Smallbrainfield
    Thumb Up

    I think this is great news.

    Maybe the fatheads at NASA will pull their thumbs out of their arses and actually get some work done putting the AWESOME back into rocket technology. And what is it with Barack Obama's comments? Whiny, moaning bobbins, he hasn't got a clue. If he wants to put some cash into his economy he should be investing in a proper space programme.

    Russia, China, Richard Branson and now Iran. The space race is back on, daddio.

  31. Jeff Green

    UK Satellite launch

    The first (and last!) satellite successfully put into orbit on a UK designed and built rocket was Prospero and was launched on a Black Arrow rocket a programme that was then suspended. If you are a really sad individual you can still listen to Prospero's signals I believe ...

  32. It wasnt me

    Check your yources

    Its the same bunch of people who normally slate wikipedia now on here using it as a single source to validate the UK space industry. Can wiki morph into the oracle when required?

    @DT Why waste taxpayers money creating jobs in a high tech industry when we can waste it paying people to have children and not work?You bloody lefty.

    P.S. Just use linux, dont buy jesus phone etc. etc.

  33. lglethal Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Astrium anybody?

    Considering a significant amount of Astrium's rocket building is done in the UK, it seems a bit strange to say that Britain has no rocket building capability, i suppose that by the same token Germany, France, Italy and the whole of Europe do not have any rocket capability right??

    I think we all know thats a lot of bollocks. Europe shares its resources in order to be the worlds biggest supplier of commercial rocket launches. So stop bemoaning the fact that your not doing it on your own. Or get off your ass contact your local MP and start harrassing him to get him to start pushing for a homegrown program if you think its that important...

  34. Robin Baker

    @AC 'we beat you... sort of'

    I f you count non-indigenously developed launcher rockets, try looking up Ariel-1, 1962 was it??

    The whole idea was you had to do all of it in country (except the lighting the blue touch paper bit where you really need to be as close to the equator as possible, thanks for 'lending' us Woomera!!!)

    My first ever real job was on this programme, it's been downhill ever since.

    R.

  35. Turgut Kalfaoglu

    Obama just like the former?

    I guess it is true - that big companies run USA, and not the president, as Obama sounds just like any other president that came about.

    Iran's sattelite "unfortunate?" Shouldn't he have had the courage to congratulate on this technological achivement instead?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Prospero Dagnamit!

    Is Still Up there 38 Years after it was launched.. and presumably its still chirping away (last known recorded in 2006 for BBC's Coast Program, when they visited the test site.)

    Just how old is this reporter? any chance we can get someone who knows stuff..

  37. Andus McCoatover
    Joke

    @By Mad as a Bat

    Nope. Not Tony Blackburn.

    He's visible here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Blackburn

    That bloke on the right is obviously sporting a Syrup.

    ('Merkans - see http://www.businessballs.com/cockney.htm if you don't know what "syrup" means.) We Colonial folks know it. Sadly...

  38. Steven Raith

    RE the 'corrections'

    Does the UK have the ability to launch a satellite? No.

    Did it previously, just the once, which was hastily cancelled? Yes.

    There's no pride in being at the head of the queue to the party, if you leave after five minutes because you don't like the loud noises and the price of the drinks....

    Steven R

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    named "Omid" (Hope)

    "my parents named me Omid, which means hope. Unfortunately, Djalili means less"

    Omid Dijalili.

  40. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Pirate

    RE: Frank Bough

    "the BBC managed to massively patronise the Iranians this morning describing their satellite as "homemade"....." Well, seeing as it is actually built with Russian, Chinese, North Korean and Pakistani tech, it really is a homemade copy of existing tech. So El Beeb were being quite generous in even calling it "homemade".

    "....Presumably these twats have no idea that Great Britain has never achieved such a thing...." And I presume you now feel like the complete tw@ you most obvioulsy are having seen all the posts about Prospero and Black Arrow. Hope that humble pie doesn't stick too badly in your throat.

    "....Well done Iran. I only wish our aggression towards you and your idiotic theocracy would end. In that order." Yes, we have threatened to "wipe Iran off the map", "start a new holocaust" and promise "to drive the Iranians into the sea" at regular intervals. Oh, hold on a sec, no we haven't, but Iran has used the political football of the Israeli-Palistinian conflict to promote war and threaten exactly those events on Israel.

    This is of course all the more rich given that there are large numbers of the Iranian populance with no running water or mains electricity, very little if any education, and a level of healthcare that makes the NHS look good I'm sure they appreciate their taxes being ploughed into grandiose projects which only increase he chances of a war.

  41. Dave Bell
    Coat

    British Boffinry

    Black Arrow was a bit of a dead end--hydrogen peroxide and kerosene doesn't have enough spcific impolse for useful satellite launch.

    On the other hand, it meant that we had a steam-powered rocket, designed by morris dancers (hydrogen peroxide decomposes to oxygen and steam)..

    Pity we wasted so much time and effort on it. It worked, but we should have done better.

    (Mine;s the coat with the elbow patches and scorch marks.)

  42. TeeCee Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    And of course.

    Regardless of any purely domestic Black Arrow / Prospero success, the British contribution in this area has been part of the pan-European ESA / Arianespace effort in more recent years.

    So we've been fairly seriously involved in quite a bit of satellite lobbing to date.

    There's no reason for a wholly British launch capability, that willy has been waved and then quietly retired in favour of the significantly more impressive Euro-todger.

  43. Dom Smith
    Flame

    Sick of this... cheer up Lewis.

    Been reading this site for years, and never made a comment. Now, I'm driven to make the first a flame (hopefully a sane one)...

    Mr Page, do you not get sick of being so utterly miserable about everything the UK has ever done, is doing, or might at some point do? Were you aware of the Black Arrow/Prospero launch, or does it not count in some way?

    Besides, the UK retains an launch facility through ESA/Arianespace. Yes, we can all get nationalistic about the fact we share this stuff with France et al, but thats an argument which defies economics.

    Is it not hypocritical to constantly slate the UK defense establishment for not buying better overseas products at expense to homemade ones, whilst ignoring successful examples of buying into a better shared service?

    Why, also, does an article about Iran need to include a poorly researched stab at the UK? Keep to the bloody point and, please, cheer up.

    Sincerely, Dom Smith

  44. Claire Rand

    Good luck to em

    as the title says, theres more to the world that the US & western europe. who knows while we tie ourselves in H&S knots someone else can get the spirit of exploration going again.

    whats that it could be used as a missile? tell me again where the US & soviet space programmes came from?

    besides it could be good to get Iran armed well enough to give people pause for thought before doing anything daft.

    and if *they* do anything too daft, and too traceable they know what will happen anyway

    that guy may look like Simon Cowel, but hes probably got lesser dreams of world domination

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Something about Iran and nuclear

    Iran is a Shia country and stick to what their clerics say. Their clerics have said that nuclear weapons are completely forbidden in Shia Islam. Therefore they will not be doing nuclear weapons, they only want to use nuclear for power usage. Just like in the UK the government wants to go down the nuclear route as they have decided that "nuclear is green".

    So, in summary, Iran do not want to build nuclear weapons as it has been strictly forbidden for them by their religious courts. So stop all this nonsense about Iran building nuclear weapons.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Make your mind up

    Is this the same Lewis, criticising the UK for not having space launch capability ('cos that'd save the economy right now, oh yes!), who is forever berating UK.gov for building it's own aircraft carriers and fighter aircraft instead of buying in foreign tech more cheaply??

    And is it me or does the Iranian pres ALWAYS look like he's wearing suits two sizes too big, and bought from his brother-in-law's cousin's shop in Brick Lane?

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Just like the world cup

    You did it once in 66 and never will again. :D

  48. Tom Cooke

    British rocketry

    May only be fiction, but *somebody* has to mention Fred and Geoffrey Hoyle, "Rockets in Ursa Major" - fictional British space program set in the days after the Second World War, complete with handlebar moustaches. They don't make 'em like they used to - but dammit they used to!

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    @Steven Raith

    Did you read the article?

    'The UK, for instance, has never built a rocket capable of doing this'

    The corrections are valid!

    'has no civil space launching capability, and is reliant on US-supplied Trident missiles to carry its nuclear weapons.'

    This is now true. but is not in question.

  50. graham crocker

    Brit Sattelite Still in Orbit After 30 Years

    I'm sure I recall the launch of a UK satellite on a UK rocket - Blue Streak, I think - In the 60's and still in orbit now.

    Your article is a wonderful view into the educational background of those in the media. This gem certainly sits alonside the "Reefs" horror put on screen by the BBC during the recent Rememberance Day TV coverage .

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    @Devid Bell

    'Black Arrow was a bit of a dead end--hydrogen peroxide and kerosene doesn't have enough spcific impolse for useful satellite launch.'

    Black Arrow's Gamma 8 Developed 265Sec

    Blue Streak's RZ2 Developed 282sec

    The Solid Rocket boosters on the Shuttle Develop 242s at sea level.

    One assumes that Nasa's New Ares (using the same Solid propellant as the SRB' s would be similar.)

    Define Useful? maybe not as high as Hydrogen Oxygen (~400Sec) but still in useable range.

    As an aside the Bloodhound Project are using an HTP Rocket for there 1000Mph Land speed record. they have 220+sec on their test rig. (thats with rubber not kerosene)

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Oops

    Forget I mentioned the Blue Streak RZ2 it was Kerosene/LOX

    Black Arrow was still better than the new Ares Solid Rockets

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    heh

    westerners are both stupid and selfish, we don't want little brown people to be run by governments that were selected by little brown people, and may have little brown peoples interests at heart (pride is an interest I suspect) becouse then the little brown people may get ideas that they're equal, then how would we be able to leave rich fat puppets in charge of little brown peoples oil and other natural resources?

    And the yanks are still narked that the Iranians had the gaul to over throw the wonderful little dictatorship they put in place.

    Funny how a country that was trampled on by the west, then sanctioned into the ground by the west, doesn't like the west much. Note we and the yanks overthrew their very popular elected government becouse they had the nerve to nationalise their oil, and we don't like that, no we do not.

  54. Peyton
    Happy

    I think I misinterpreted this one

    I took his dig at UK satellite progress as just a way of expressing a wish that they would do more research in the space exploration arena.

    My apologies: When in doubt, I will strive to err on the side of vitriol and malice from here on.

  55. Righteously Indignant
    Thumb Up

    re: Frank Bough

    Round of applause for Matt Bryant. Well said that man.

  56. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah

    Black Arrow (cancelled by Tombstone Ted) notwithstanding, Britain still holds the record for most attempts to reach the center of the earth by rocket, as archival footage from the fabled Woomera launch facility will prove beyond question.

    As a young lad my spaceward-yearning spirit was oft-time crushed by yet another launch that got a few feet into the air then thought better of it, but we did get the hang of it eventually. Shame we didn't really have any idea what to do with it after that.

    You'd think that a jounalist would have done a bit o' Googling before hitting "enter" though.

    Tsk.

  57. Simon Ball

    @ Tom Cooke

    I'd also mention Warren Ellis's graphic novel "Ministry of Space", which addressed much the same topic, albeit with a subtle undercurrent of moral and social commentary - what price the dream?

  58. Parax
    Boffin

    @Tom Cooke..

    'complete with handlebar moustaches. They don't make 'em like they used to - but dammit they used to!'

    Oh yes we do! Just have a look at the bloodhound projects rocket chap... (Daniel Jubb)

    http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/search.cfm?faArea1=customWidgets.contentItem_show_1&cit_id=4252

    The young lad is doing us proud!

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    @heh

    "And the yanks are still narked that the Iranians had the gaul to over throw the wonderful little dictatorship they put in place."

    Slight inaccuracy. Yanks may have put the Shah back in place and then proceeded to sell him as many weapons as he liked (F16s etc.), however, when he wasn't playing ball (i.e. nationalising oil companies), it was they who orchestrated his removal with the aid of MI6 (SIS). There was an excellent Channel4 documentary on this.

    Matt Bryant has some good points, except he didn't point out that apart from Israel (who receive so much aid from the US it's unbelievable), all the other NPT violators (India, Pakistan, North Korea) have high levels of poverty.

    Iran does not want to be dependent on any other country for the fuel for it's nucelar power stations - hence self or "homemade" enrichment is the only option. This causes some concern because of the potential to develop material for weapons - perhaps a permanent presence of IAEA on site to make sure this doesn't happen is the answer...

    The fact that, under sanctions, Iran can manage to launch a rocket and put a satellite into space shows that sanctions are only a short term measure ( the exception seems to be those applied to South Africa ).

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @@heh

    It was the elected prime minister who wasn't playing ball, the Shah when asked to rein in his PM went along the lines of "are you crazy, everyone loves the guy."

    But yes then we had MI6 remove the Prime minister (arrested some time around 53) and reinforce the Shah who then had a few good parties (a shinning autocrat loved by all his people...) all in the name of Capatilism. But we had to wait for Eisenhower to come to power, becouse Trumen didn't quite buy the Briish line.

    Interstingly even though they were pumping less petrol and were blockaded by the English they still managed to make more money then when their supplies were run by foreign nations.

    Anyway lets face it, more or less anything can be converted into a weapon, but has there ever been a precedent for taking away farmers tools becouse they could have been turned into arms in the past?

  61. adifferentbob

    re "Check your yources"

    Well if you want a different source other than wikipedia try Francis Spufford's "Backroom Boys" (2003). It has a very interesting section on Black Arrow.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Prospero

    Didn't the BBC Coast series receive a signal from the British Prospero satellite a couple of years ago?

  63. Richard Cartledge
    Thumb Up

    Well done

    Well done Iran! While I have no time for Ahmedenejad's domestic politics or the SAVAK, that doesn't mean everything they say and do is bad, and their attitude towards the Zionist state, New World Order and the illuminati is as good as their post 1979 attitude towards women is bad.

  64. Warhelmet

    "Homemade" Rocket?

    I'm not sure if I've ever seen that on Blue Peter - but maybe I missed it because it was one of those "dads and older brothers leave the room" type project.

  65. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Flame

    Nucular weapons here, nucular weapons there

    In spite of the say-so of lowlife politicians trying to divert from the sub-basement ideas they deploy on their respective homelands, standard Israeli paranoid casus belli production and breathless reporting by various pundits (including the regular total fscking retardos at The Economist and the BBC) who seem to have forgotten that reporting is not the same as Fearmongering in Abject Submission to Special Interests Groups ("FASSIG"), El Baradei recently had to say that, "for Iran to have weapons capacity, it would have to eject IAEA inspectors, leave the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), reconfigure production to refine uranium to the high degree needed for bomb fuel and fit the material into a warhead" and that it would take 2-5 years. At least. The Murrican Intelligence Community agreed in 2007.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @ Claire Rand

    "besides it could be good to get Iran armed well enough to give people pause for thought before doing anything daft."

    I see.

    So were you also one of the people who posted on El Reg 6 months ago, gleefully proclaiming that the US recession was a "good thing" for the rest of the world?

    (I still wonder where those people went - probably at a job fair or something)

    Does the US have issues? Sure. Does that mean one should immediately take the extreme opposite view of the US, just because they're the US? Probably not a good idea, either. IOW, if you don't have love for the US/West, that's fine - but if you trust Iran just because they like to stick it to the US, I suspect you'll eventually be very disappointed in them as well.

    And I suspect that disappointment will be sooner than later.

  67. Martin Winchester
    Stop

    Re: Check Your Sources...

    Well you could also try the BROHP... the British Rocketry Oral History project: http://www.brohp.org.uk/index.html

    Or Nicholas Hill's Vertical Empire:

    http://spaceuk.org/index.htm

    Examples of Blue Streak can be seen at the National Space Museum in Leicester, Black Arrow at the Science museum, and Black Knight at Liverpool Museum. All are well documented in other sources so quite frankly there is no excuse.

    One thing that nobody has mention is that we are still a large producer of world class satellites, either from EADS Astrium (descendant of the company that made Blue Streak) or Surrey Satellite Technology (now owned by EADS).

    Personally i think we (and the engineers and backroom boys) deserve an apology from Lewis...!

    MW

  68. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    RE: Richard Cartledge

    "....and their attitude towards the Zionist state...." Ah, the modern face of good ol' anti-semitism. Just call it "Zionism" and you can justify the killing of as many Jews as you like. Goebbels would be proud. I assume you wouldn't be so quick to voice approval if we were discussing Iran's treatment of homosexuals, but then it's just not fashionable to be homophobic is it? Of course, if you think Iran is so great please feel free to emigrate there, I'm sure you won't be missed.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Says it all really

    I see a bit of a theme here, British comments referring to 'we manged to do it once, a really long time ago'.

    Nuff said

  70. Bounty

    farmers

    I'd like to see a farmer use nukes to plough his field. No really, if there is a concerted effort to switch to electric cars/tractors in Iran I understand. I haven't noticed it yet though. Just like how North Korea is suddenly a paradise now that they have mastered nuclear technology. I'm guessing Iran is taking the same route as NK. Wild Crazy Guess #2..... if anyone, anywhere ever launches a nuke, for any reason, they'll need to make sure they get in on it and "wipe Israel off the map." Just in case. Israel can do it, they hate them, so they need to be able to do it.

    As for the space thing... good for them.

    -Bounty

    P.S.

    I've always wanted a reason for the missile bases we're already building overseas........... Holy crap did Bush get one right? Now that is spooky.

  71. Homard
    Stop

    What Are We All Worrying About ?

    We have bigger rockets than that launched by the idiots in our village on bonfire night. No-one is dead as a result, yet.

    On a serious note, for Iran to have launched a satellite into space is no mean feat, and this is worthy of recognition. What happens next is the bit to consider.

    On an even more serious note : pax nuclear (nuclear peace if I've got the Latin wrong) is possible because everyone is fearful of the consequences. Now, if we have a country/state that does not fear the consequences, then that is something for the rest of us to fear.

  72. Steen Hive
    Thumb Down

    @Matt Bryant

    ... "Speak Your Branes" is on the BBC site, not here. Using Iran's despicable treatment of homosexuals to apparently attempt to justify plonking a fucking great murderous, ethnic cleansing state full of immigrants down on other peoples' land just exposes you as a juvenile shill.

  73. Steve Roper
    Flame

    @Matt Bryant

    Please allow me to expose you here for what you are - a Zionist propagandist.

    I recently had the good fortune to engage in an interesting and enlightening conversation with one of our clients at our company end-of-year do; a Jewish author and his wife, who were small children during the Holocaust. I had a long conversation with his wife, Abigail; I was reluctant at first to mention my own mother's Palestinian origin and her displacement, exile, and loss of her family's wealth when the state of Israel was founded, but this lady was so frank and honest that I eventually told her about it. I could see that she was fighting to hold back tears; I took pains to explain that I could not hold a grudge against her race for the actions of a greedy few, since members of my own race had crimes of their own to answer for, and I shared her sickness at all the violence and her wish for peace. During this conversation, the topic turned to Zionism and Judaism, and I will never forget Abigail's words on this topic:

    "I'm very frightened of those you call Zionists and what they can do... you must remember that these extremists are to us the same as Al-Qaeda are to Islam... they distort the Talmud to spread their deceits and justify their violence... People hate us because of them and not because of who we are."

    So there you have it, Mr. Bryant, straight from the mouth of a *real* Jewish woman. Zionism is NOT Judaism, and it is repudiated by genuine Jews. Your conflation of the two is simply you spouting the same old Zionist propaganda that allows them to tar anyone who gainsays them with the "anti-semitic" brush.

    So kindly go drink your Kool-Aid, STFU, and remember that it is you and your ilk who would make Goebbels proud.

  74. Allan Dyer Silver badge

    Re: subtitle

    Correction:

    "UK now so far behind that it can't be seen without a telescope"

    and when the BBC mentioned the satellite was "homemade" I imagined the satellite on the kitchen table, and the engineer telling the kids to bring the screwdriver back...

  75. Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge

    Iran the 2nd nation to launch one satellite

    The UK is known as the nation who launched just one satellite. Having proved we could do it we lost interest. Why bother developing it when we can buy them from the USA.

    Iran is no allowed to buy them. They have achieved this dispite having to source most of the parts in Iran and not having any tame german rocket scientists.

    I don't know much about rockets but this one looked small and effective. It did not blow up on the launch pad. With electronics getting smaller it's probably plenty big enough for decent satellites.

    It's possible that this was not live and they had to launch several before they got one that did not blow up. It's also possible that it did not launch a sat into orbit. Has this launch been independantly varified, or don't we care?

    One reason to not check if this was a real launch is that now Israel can nuke Iran, all that's needed is a report that proves they can hit Israel in 45 minutes.

  76. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Pirate

    RE: Steen Hive and Steve Roper

    RE: Steen Hive

    "...Using Iran's despicable treatment of homosexuals to apparently attempt to justify plonking a fucking great murderous, ethnic cleansing state full of immigrants down on other peoples' land just exposes you as a juvenile shill...." And your statement just exposed your glaringly-weak grasp of history. Oh dear, I think I'm going to have to upset you further with some more "Zionist propaganda", please feel free to try and formulate a response based on historical facts rather than gibbering.

    Firstly, there have been Jews living in the area of modern Israel for thousands of years, they were there before the division of the area Britian christened the Mandate of Palestine. So much for them all being immigrants. Many others were at the time in residence in Arab countries in the Middle East.

    Jewish Zionist emigration back to the area started as early as the 1880s, but really picked up pace during the 1920s. These were not dumped there nor did they invade and expel Arabs, they were emigres seeking a better life. At that time, the area was mainly underdeveloped and not valued by the Arabs. Under the Turks the area was considered a backwater and nobody made any pretence to the Al Aqsa Mosque as being the place Mohammed supposedly soared up to heaven from, that only happened later. Strangely enough, the Syrians used to claim that honour for Damascus until they realised the political power of insisting it was Jerusalem.

    The local Arabs described themselves in a British census as "Southern Syrians" and "Egyptians". The Zionist emigres bought land legally from both local Jews, Arabs and Christians, and brought modern farming and irrigation techniques from Europe, Russia and the US, making the largely untouched land bloom. Arabs, seeing a chance for work, also moved to the area from surrounding areas of the French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon and from Egypt, and the Jews welcomed them seeing as they needed additional labour. At this point there were no such people as "the Palestinians", and the influx of Arabs from neighbouring countries meant "foreign" Arabs out-numbered local Arabs by almost four-to-one by the 1948 divide. Interestingly, more Arabs moved into the area now known as Israel during this period than moved to the Transjordan area because they saw more opportunities in working for the Jews. One of the Arabs that came to Jerusalem in 1933 was Mohammed Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini, when his Egyptian father sent him there from Cairo. Mohammed's uncle was the Mufti of Jeruselam and later became a close associate of Adolf Hitler. Many years later, Mohammed took to calling himself Yassir Arafat, and "his people" "the Palestinians". This was all the funnier seeing as the Arabs couldn't actually pronounce "Palestine" seeing as it is not an Arabic word, so they used the term "Falastin" which is the Arabic term for the Philistine people that did once live in the Transjordan area, Egypt, most of Iraq and parts of Persia. But then Arafat was full of male bovine manure.

    After the humiliation of the 1948 war (when the Arabs decided to try and eradicate the tiny state of Israel created by the UN), the Arabs took their revenge by driving out almost 800,000 Jews from their own countries. The failed attack on Israel was attempted ethnic cleansing, the ejecting of the Jews from neighbouring countries was also ethnic cleansing, yet neither got a mention from the UN. But I don't expect you to admit that it was ethnic cleansing. You may notice that there is still a sizeable Arab population living inside Israel with full rights as Israeli citizens, which kind of puts a major hole in your Israelis-as-ethnic-cleansers whimsy.

    Israel found homes for these Jewish refugees from the Arab countries along with others coming from Europe and created a thriving state. The Arabs took the "Palestinian" refugees and herded them into refugee camps where they were kept in limbo deliberately, ironicly with the assistance of the UN. At this time, the Egyptians siezed the Gaza Strip and the "Jordanians" siezed the West Bank - strangely, no-one howled about "expansionist" Egypt or Jordan, even when Jordan annexed the West Bank in 1950.

    Jordan itself is the other and larger part of the original British Mandate. To appease the Arab nationalists, Britian hacked off just over 75% of the Mandate and called it Transjordan. The idea was it would be the Arab state and only Arabs could own land in Transjordan, and Jews living in Transjordan had their lands stolen. To rule Jordan the British shipped in Abdullah I, of the Hashemite family, the losers in the battle to control Saudi Arabia. Still, no-one screamed about a Saudi ruling over "Palestinians". Mind you, the Arab nationalists did assassinate him in 1951 because he wasn't rabidly anti-Jewish enough for them, he having sought peace via deals with the Jewish Agency.

    As your maths is no doubt as weak as your history, that meant that after the 1948 war the "Palestinians" and other Arabs controlled 85% of the original British Mandate area known as Palestine. Strangely enough, this wasn't enough for the Arabs, even to today, despite the surrounding twenty-two Arab countries comprising an area 640 times the size of Israel. All that oil money and space and they still can't home their "Palestinian" brothers they swear they want to help so badly. It seems the Iranians would rather spend the money developing nukes and missiles (which is bizarre considering any nuke attack on Israel will probably kill thousands of "Palestinians" as well as Israeli Arabs, and render the land unfit for the return of "refugees" for thousands of years).

    So, let's recap - Israel was created by the UN, not by some invasion or expulsion of "Palestinians"; there were plenty of Jews in residence before the creation of the Israeli state; many of the "Palestinians" are descended from Syrians and Egyptians and were welcomed to the area by Jews; the Arabs kicked off the whole ethnic cleansing thing, and then cleansed their own countries of Jews; and there's still a large Arab population in Israel living as Israeli citizens with full rights. I suggest you try a little reading before you produce any more of the drivel you have vomited up with such little pre-thought.

    RE: Steve Roper

    "....Your conflation of the two is simply you spouting the same old Zionist propaganda that allows them to tar anyone who gainsays them with the "anti-semitic" brush....." Strange, but it was Richard Cartledge that tarred the whole state of Israel with the Zionist brush and you didn't object to that. Or do you seriously belive all Israeli Jews are Zionists and it's only Jews living outside of Israel that aren't?

    But don't let that colour your judgement of Israel, which withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005 in the hope of peace, withdrew from Lebanon 2000 again in the hope of peace, and gave up the oil-rich Sinai in 1982 to Egypt in return for peace (which actually worked, but then the Egyptians seem a lot smarter than their "Palestinian" or Lebanese brothers). Because withdrawing and giving up land is just so Zionist, right? In fact, in the whole conflict, the only side that has consistantly declared a desire for peace has been Israel.

  77. Steen Hive
    Thumb Down

    @Matt II

    I'm very well aware of the matters of historical record surrounding the creation of the state of Israel - how many Jews were living there at the time in 1948 (13.8%), how many others were ethnically cleansed off the land (720,000) David Ben Gurion's "transfer" solution to "The Arab Problem", Irgun, Lehi, The Stern Gang (terrorists) , the myth that Arabs willingly left their homes and land when intimidation and violence by these aforementioned groups was rife.

    Implying that UN resolution 181 partitioning an area against the wishes of the majority of it's inhabitants lends legitimacy to Israel is laughable, when it is one of the biggest travesties of international law ever to take place. Not only that but *every* country in the area voted against the resolution.

    "As your maths is no doubt as weak as your history, that meant that after the 1948 war the "Palestinians" and other Arabs controlled 85% of the original British Mandate area known as Palestine. Strangely enough, this wasn't enough for the Arabs, even to today, despite the surrounding twenty-two Arab countries comprising an area 640 times the size of Israel. "

    What the fuck is this? You are quoting figures without making any point - or is your "point" that the expelled people should "go live with their Arab brothers"? - a load of vile, racist shit if ever I heard it.

    "In fact, in the whole conflict, the only side that has consistantly declared a desire for peace has been Israel."

    Which "Israel" is that, Matt? The morally illegitimate 1948 one or the legally illegitimate (and larger) 2009 one?

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    So...

    ...who's up for ice cream? I could go for ice cream. Do we all want to go get ice cream?

    I guess not.

  79. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Pirate

    RE: @Matt II

    "I'm very well aware of the matters of historical record.... the myth that Arabs willingly left their homes...." Ah, so it's a record if it supports your side, but a myth if it doesn't! Strange that the Jews - who in 1948 didn't have an army like the neighbouring Arab states did - could spare so many men they could scare off 600,000 armed Arab "Palestinians" when they were busy fighting an enemy on three fronts with more than ten times the manpower. Even stranger considering the Arabs also had more tanks (the Jews didn't get their first two until two British Paras stole a pair of old Cromwells literally days before the Brits were due to leave), more planes, and many times more artillery pieces. Yet you contend the Israelis had men and time to spare to go around driving the Arabs out. I don't doubt there were some isolated cases of intimidation and murder by Jews, but it definately wasn't the norm, and even after the neighbouring Arabs attacked the Jews still asked the "Palestinian" Arabs to stay, which is how there came to be a large number of Israeli Arabs still living in Israel (or did you think they magically arrived after 1948?).

    "....Implying that UN resolution 181 partitioning an area against the wishes of the majority of it's inhabitants lends legitimacy to Israel is laughable, when it is one of the biggest travesties of international law ever to take place...." Actually, the whole division process was handled by the UN (the UN envoy was a Swede count, Folke Bernadotte), and was based on the majority of a particular area - if an area had a marked majority of Arabs it was to be part of the new Arab state, and if it had a marked majority of Jews it was to be part of the new Jewish state. It was this that led to the contrived shape of both new states, but the Jews accepted theirs even though it was much smaller than what had been originally promised to them by the Balfour Declaration. The Jews went on to declare the State of Israel, the Arabs just declared a war of extermination instead. So nothing was done against the will of the majority at all.

    "....Not only that but *every* country in the area voted against the resolution...." Yes, every MUSLIM Arab nation in the area voted against, but they were massivley outnumbered by the other members of the UN that voted for the motion. But then Arabs never do seem to have understood the idea of voting.

    "....What the fuck is this? You are quoting figures without making any point - or is your "point" that the expelled people should "go live with their Arab brothers"? - a load of vile, racist shit if ever I heard it...." My point is that so many Arab nations are happy to scold the rest of the World of the plight of the "Palestinians", so happy to send money, arms and even their men to "fight for Palestine" (aka kill Jews), yet they haven't even tried to alleviate the suffering of the "Palestinian" refugees. It is a fact that the vast majority of aid to those refugees comes from non-Arab countires outside the Middle East, via the UN and EU. In fact, until Hamas came to power, Israel actually donated more aid per year to Gaza than any individual Arab country!

    And why is it so racist to expect the other Arab countries to help the "Palestinian" Arabs? After all, after both World Wars, there were massive movements of refugees across Europe and even out to America. We didn't herd them into refugee camps, forbid them to work and deny them citizenship. A look around London will show you areas where Polish, Italian, Greek, Jewish and even Arab refugees have settled, and we gave them citizenship. Compare this to the "Palestinian" refugees whom have been denied citizenship in neighbouring Arab countries, denied work, education or even basic welfare, yet prodded relentlessly to attack Israel and avenge the "Nakba". Mind you, the original Nakba was in the 1920s when the Southern Syrian Arabs of the British Mandate were told they would not be allowed to merge into a Greater Syria with their Arab brothers in French-controlled Syria - strange how they were so happy later to re-invent themselves as "Palestinians" when they originally described the British idea of being "Palestinian" as such a disaster.

    "....Which "Israel" is that, Matt? The morally illegitimate 1948 one or the legally illegitimate (and larger) 2009 one?" How was the 1948 state "morally illegitimate"? Illegitimacy is defined as going against the law or will of the people, and the majority of the people of the World voted at the UN to create a Jewish state. And as for "legally illegitimate", please state which countries laws have been broken? Not the state of Palestine, seeing as that has never existed. Which therefore means the West Bank and Gaza Strip don't belong to any country until the "Palestinians" accept the two state solution. And don't start with the hilariously squewed International Court at the UN, which has no authority and just as little credibility. And don't even think of The Road Map as that is a peace plan and not a law anywhere. But what am I saying, I asked you to think, and you're obviously happier having other people do your thinking for you.

  80. Steen Hive
    Coat

    @Mat III

    Never have I heard such an pathetic rationalization for racism, ethnic cleansing and terrorism.

    You are saying that Ben Gurion's "transfer" plan was enacted solely by the Haganah? Then you are a liar.

    In 1948 the " people of the World" as you so quaintly describe the UN GA, "voted" to partition an area against the wishes of that area's residents (33 to 13 with 10 abstentions, including Britain). What is funny here is that Israel itself regards resolution 181 as null-and-void.

    These people that you are so racist against that you can't even describe them without juvenile quotation marks aren't (your quotes) "Palestinians" - they are Israelis that were expelled by Zionist Jews. Bernadotte didn't "handle the division process" - he was sent by the UN to mediate a settlement to the fighting after the Israeli declaration of independence - and remember for his trouble he was also murdered by Zionist terrorists from Lehi.

    What "the Arab countries" do or don't do with these expelled Israelis is up to them (notwithstanding there are a fair number of refugees in Lebanon), and not even relevant. Whining on about "Arab countries" is a bad attempt at a straw-man argument - the truth being that Zionist Jews were and are mostly responsible for the expulsion and Palestinian refugee crisis through ethnic cleansing. For what it's worth, Arab states that expelled Jews involuntarily should be held to account too. That Palestinian refugees have been denied citizenship in neighbouring countries is regrettable and true, but worst of all they have been denied citizenship of their own country which is chock-full of Russian immigrants at the moment, as we shall shortly be made very aware of at the next election in Israel.

    ...

    So the UN is good enough for legitimizing the state of Israel (and for handy SC vetoes that allow Israel free rein for nearly any atrocity) but not good enough for slapping it down for it's transgressions? Fair enough, you are exposed again as a mere shill. Maybe to get through your thick skull why 1948 Israel is morally illegitimate you should read the UN charter? And to define legal illegitimacy you should read among other things resolution 242 and 25 other resolutions Israel has been in blatant contravention of as well as basic principles of modern International law regarding acquisition of territory through war, demographic change by force, and colonisation.

  81. Secretgeek
    Coat

    Ice cream sounds good.

    Do they do flakes? I'll just get my coat.

  82. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Make mine double-choc chip!

    Seeing as El Reg won't post my responses to Steen Hive.

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