Saturday, January 27, 2007
Iranian eyes in the sky
Iran is expected to launch a spy satellite
soon using a converted ballistic missile. The Israelis launched their first satellite in 1988. They have since deployed a range of spy, communication and weather satellites and plan to launch more sophisticated versions later this year and next. The new all-weather satellites can capture high resolution images of objects measured in centimetres rather than meters.
Although Iran has a great deal of catching up to do, demonstrating success in basic missile and space technology will have a profound impact on the region. If a missile can carry payloads of 300kg or more into orbit, it can also deliver chemical, biological or nuclear warheads over thousands of miles. The strategic military and political balance in the Middle East has already shifted in Iran’s favour as a direct result of the idiotic Iraq invasion.
Click on image to enlarge
Neither the US nor Israel can now stop Iran developing her missile technology and they are unlikely to be able to prevent her from developing nuclear weapons.
The Israeli military boasts about its capacity to launch bombing raids on Iranian nuclear sites near Asfahan and Arak, which are approximately 1000 miles away. Israeli pilots have apparently been practising the 2000 mile round trip by flying to Gibraltar, but they know that the nuclear sites are too well protected. They would have to use small-scale nuclear bunker-buster bombs to penetrate deep into the thick rock and concrete fortifications. Iran could retaliate on many fronts; by firing missiles at Israel, blocking the Straits of Hormuz to oil traffic and mobilizing Hezbollah in Lebanon. Syria could enter the fray too by advancing into the Golan.
Perhaps the neocons who had set out to “secure the realm” and ended up letting the Persian genie out of the bottle, weren’t so clever after all. Why couldn't Sharon have made concessions to the Palestinians instead of bringing down the temple onto all our heads?