Posted by ChrisG on 12 February, 2008 at 8:14 am. 2 comments already!


From Reuters

Because it is Yahoo, I am posting the entire article in case the link goes dead.

Iranian Balloon

“Nukes Yes, Spell-check, No!”

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran aims to send a satellite into space next summer and will not retreat in a nuclear row with the West, its president said on Monday, in a defiant speech on the anniversary of the country’s 1979 Islamic revolution.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed a major rally in Tehran a week after Iran sparked international concern by test-launching a rocket designed to carry its first domestically made research satellite into orbit.

“God willing, next summer the first 100 percent Iranian-made satellite will be positioned in orbit,” he said.

The West fears Tehran is covertly trying to obtain nuclear bombs. Iran, the world’s fourth-largest oil exporter, says it needs nuclear energy to meet booming electricity demand.

The technology used to put satellites into space could also be used for launching weapons, analysts say, and both the United States and Russia have expressed concern about the rocket test.

I am waiting for the left to say there is “no evidence” again as Russia is expressing concerns, as it did with Iraq pre-2003.

Russia, which has long argued there is no evidence Tehran is seeking atomic weapons, and which is supplying fuel for its Bushehr nuclear power station, said the test raised suspicions about the real nature of Iran’s atomic program.

But Ahmadinejad made clear Iran would press ahead with its satellite work, signaling it would carry out two more such tests to prepare for the real launch.

State media last week said the research satellite, called Omid (Hope), would be launched by March 2009.


Ahmadinejad also said Iran would not back down in the nuclear dispute with the West, despite the threat of a third round of U.N. sanctions on the Islamic Republic over its refusal to halt sensitive atomic work.

“They should know that the Iranian nation will not retreat one iota from its nuclear rights,” he told the crowd which had gathered in the capital for the 29th anniversary of the revolution that toppled the U.S.-backed shah.

Iranian officials had called on people to turn out in large numbers to show their unity in the face of Western pressure. State television broadcast footage of rallies held across Iran.

The official IRNA news agency said Ahmadinejad was addressing a “million-strong gathering” but it was not immediately possible to confirm this figure.

“America should understand and believe that the Iranian nation will not back down from its rights,” demonstrator Leila Jafari told Reuters.

Others at the rally burnt effigies representing Uncle Sam.

Iran has an array of medium-range missiles. It says its longest-range missile can reach 2,000 km (1,250 miles), meaning it could hit Israel and U.S. military bases in the Gulf.

U.S. officials have accused Iran of aiming to equip its missiles with nuclear warheads. Iran says its nuclear program is designed only to generate electricity and preserve its oil and gas for export.

Coinciding with the revolution anniversary, Iran displayed one of three British patrol boats which were seized in the Gulf in 2004, Iranian media reported. They were previously shown to the public three years ago.

Iran’s constant claims of developing “super weapons” often turn out to be photo ops, frauds, and one of a kind, unproducible prototypes. So I am wondering what kind of payload this missile will have. If they do get it into orbit, however, Iran will not only enter the nuclear armed nation club, but the ICBM club. Coupled with Iran’s open threats to other nations and one can see why Russia has joined the US, France, UK, and many other nations in questioning Iran’s “nuclear power” ambitions.

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