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Iran Launches Payload into Space 698

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the he-said-load dept.
An anonymous reader writes "BBC is reporting that Iran has launched its first space rocket carrying a payload. Britain's former ambassador to Iran, Sir Richard Dalton, told the BBC that, if confirmed, such a move could destabilise the Middle East: "It is a matter of concern. Iran's potential nuclear military programme, combined with an advanced missile capability, would destabilise the region, and of course if there were a bomb that could be placed on the end of this missile, it would in breach of Iran's obligations under the non-proliferation treaty." From the article: Iranian TV broke the news of the reported test saying :"The first space rocket has been successfully launched into space. It quoted the head of Iran's aerospace research centre, Mohsen Bahrami, as saying that "the rocket was carrying material intended for research created by the ministries of science and defence". In 2005, Iran's Russian-made satellite was put into orbit by a Russian rocket. But shortly afterwards Iranian military officials said they were preparing a satellite launch vehicle of their own and last month, they announced they were ready to test it soon."
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Iran Launches Payload into Space

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  • So... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by daveschroeder (516195) *
    "Iranian media" said this?

    No pictures of the reported launch have been shown on Iranian state TV, and no Western countries have confirmed tracking any such test-firing.

    While they're at it, where's that cure for AIDS?

    Excuse me if I'm not impressed by this posturing.
    • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bob Gelumph (715872) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @11:39AM (#18143200)
      Why is this such a big deal?
      Why can't Iran do all the things that the U.S. do all the time?
      What is the problem with Iran investing in nuclear research and space technologies?
      The U.S. has said that they basically don't give a shit about international treaties about the militarisation of space, and all Iran has done is launch a satellite and this is some big event?
      The U.S. is still the only country to use a nuclear weapon on another country, so I'd highly recommend they stop their own "posturing" until they get some credibility.
      • I dunno... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by FatSean (18753) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @11:45AM (#18143252) Homepage Journal
        Probably because Iran has supported coups in other nations...no...US does that too..

        Probably because Iran ignores the Geneva Conventions with regard to prisoners...no..US does that too...

        Probably because Iran makes veiled threats to use Nuclear weapons if diplomatic demands are not met...no...US does that too...

        I guess you're right!
        • Re:I dunno... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @12:54PM (#18143798) Journal
          Probably because Iran has openly stated its desire to wipe Israel off the map should it ever have the means to do so. I'm not a big fan of US foreign policy, but I don't recall them ever making such statements.

          Not to mention that Iran is widely known to fund and train terroristic organisations. Not the kind Bush scared everyone when he needed excuse for Iraq, but the real guys - Hezbollah, Hamas... how'd you feel about one or both of those getting an ICBM with a nuclear warhead at their disposal?

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by FatSean (18753)
            I don't give a shit about one pissant ME country wanting to destroy another pissant ME country. I don't want my nation to right the world's wrongs. I guess if you care for being the world's policeman, this is a good argument. Me, I'm pretty isolationist...if Iran attacks Israel, THEN we can get involved. Otherwise, this is like 'thoughtcrime'.

            Iran funds and trains terrorists? You mean like Osama Bin Laden, a terrorist in the 1980s who was going to take down the soviet-sponsored Afghan gov't?

            If Hezbolla
            • Re:I dunno... (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Martin Blank (154261) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @02:02PM (#18144228) Journal
              Osama bin Laden went to Afghanistan of his own accord, taking millions of his own cash with him to fund his private side of the war against the Soviets. He was well-known for not only eschewing all aid from the West -- sometimes reacting violently to the suggestion of taking assistance from the CIA -- but also for executing any Western person found unexpectedly near his camps. Journalist Robert Fisk has reported all of this on several occasions, including the first time when he interviewed him and was warned about how he should act in bin Laden's presence.

              There were a lot of groups active against the Soviets, and not all of them were allied. To group them all together shows a serious misunderstanding of the complexities of that war.
            • Re:I dunno... (Score:4, Informative)

              by bendodge (998616) <bendodge@bsgpro g r ammers.com> on Sunday February 25, 2007 @02:10PM (#18144286) Homepage Journal
              They already HAVE attacked Israel (think gov-funded Hezbollah rockets). Your ignorance is precisely what makes such a mess of the issue.

              Iran is very, very close to "the bomb", or may already have it. US military intelligence has the exact locations of numerous nuclear facilities, which is why the Stennis aircraft carrier group was just moved withing striking distance.

              Let's see:

              plainly stated genocide -check
              intolerant idealism -check
              racist -check
              sworn enemy of neighbor(s) -check
              willing to sacrifice entire nation for megalomaniac goals -check
              Don't ignore Hitler until it's too late, people.
              • Re:I dunno... (Score:5, Insightful)

                by ultranova (717540) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @03:02PM (#18144752)

                Iran is very, very close to "the bomb", or may already have it. US military intelligence has the exact locations of numerous nuclear facilities, which is why the Stennis aircraft carrier group was just moved withing striking distance.

                And will these weapons of mass destruction actually be found this time ? Or is this just another lie to justify starting a war ? You know, the kind US used to justify attacking Iraq ? Maybe I'm too cynical, but I really don't think that US's claims about a country US has declared to be in the "Axis of Evil" are worth the paper they are written on.

                But of course Iran is likely to either have the bomb or be developing it in a desperate race against time; after all, it is pretty obvious they'll be invaded next and their only hope to prevent that is to get a nuclear deterrent. That's why no amount of financial or other kind of pressure will stop them: they either do it or they'll get conquered and decimated, it's a matter of survival.

                Yet another briliant strategic move from Bush, worthy of Paula herself. Let's see if the guy can actually start World War 3 before his term runs out. He's trying hard, at the very least...

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by ghoul (157158)
                plainly stated genocide -check I Agree Native American genocide
                intolerant idealism -check I agree Creationism, Christian Fundamentalism
                racist -check Do I need to even say anything. America invented modern racism
                sworn enemy of neighbor(s) -check Invaded Canada ,Panama, Granada and Mexico in the past Sworn enemy of Cuba Sure I agree
                willing to sacrifice entire nation for megalomaniac goals -check Iraq and cold war anyone? Who the hell cares if the Russian peasants worked for a capitalist elite or for a communi
                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  plainly stated genocide -check I Agree Native American genocide

                  We're not talking of a century ago. We're talking of today.

                  intolerant idealism -check I agree Creationism, Christian Fundamentalism

                  Last I checked, atheists were not imprisoned in the US, nor is homosexuality a crime which carries a death sentence by hanging. Whereas Iran [wikipedia.org]... for those too lazy to read the article, I'll just link some of the pics. They're quite telling in and of themselves. Here [wikimedia.org] is the one of a woman lashed for writing an articl

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by meringuoid (568297)
                willing to sacrifice entire nation for megalomaniac goals -check

                That's the bit I don't agree with. Iran would like to be rid of Israel, I believe that, but I don't believe the Iranian leadership are insane enough to launch a nuclear first strike even if they could, and I'm not aware that there's anything like the same cult of loyalty to the leadership that we find in North Korea. Open war with Israel or with the United States would mean total ruin for Iran, and the government and the people both know it.

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by Kadin2048 (468275)
                  I don't believe the Iranian leadership are insane enough to launch a nuclear first strike even if they could

                  See, that's where I'm unconvinced. I don't think anyone really knows what's going on in the heads of the people in charge there. If starting a war with Israel is the best way of maintaining their grip on power, then I think they're going to do it, even if it means utter ruin in the longer run.

                  People don't necessarily act rationally: it's like a poker game. Once people have pushed enough into the pot,
              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                by Sj0 (472011)
                That's right! "WE KNOW WHERE THEY ARE. THEY'RE A LITTLE NORTH, A LITTLE SOUTH, A LITTLE EAST, AND A LITTLE WEST OF BAGHDAD."

                Oh. Right. I forgot, it was these guys. Maybe the Americans should stick to something they're good at, like.....Running up massive debts?
            • Re:I dunno... (Score:5, Insightful)

              by ArcherB (796902) * on Sunday February 25, 2007 @02:47PM (#18144604) Journal
              You mean like Osama Bin Laden, a terrorist in the 1980s who was going to take down the soviet-sponsored Afghan gov't?


              If you implying that the US supported Bin Laden in the '80's? The I would have to imply that you are wrong.

              True, the US did support the Moujahadin in the 80's, or at least we helped them knock down a few Russian helicoptors, but we did not support Al Qaeda nor Bin Laden. The people we supported were the same groups that helped us overthrow the Taliban.

              Or, would you have had us sit by silently while the Russians slaughtered Afghanis by the thousands?

              If Hezbollah or Hamas got an ICBM that could reach the USA, then I'd be concerned. But they don't. They can't even reach Europe right now.

              Uh, if Iran just sent a satellite into orbit, then Hezbollah has the ability to strike anywhere in the world. All Iran has to do is conveniently leave the control room unguarded one day and... oops, someone launched something.

              More likely, these groups won't need an ICBM. All they would need to do is make a phone call to someone in the US and tell them how they are going to smuggle the bomb in, what their orders are and how to carry them out. (You know, since we can't listen in on the phone call and all)

              • The USA does all the things that Iran is doing...but we still use Iran's actions as a reason for invasion. Gotcha.
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647)

                More likely, these groups won't need an ICBM. All they would need to do is make a phone call to someone in the US and tell them how they are going to smuggle the bomb in, what their orders are and how to carry them out. (You know, since we can't listen in on the phone call and all)

                You know, this is such a shit argument. Wiretaps are, and have always been, legal in the US. The government can even wiretap for a limited period in a time-sensitive situation, before a warrant has been granted.

                Circumventing the l

            • Re:I dunno... (Score:5, Insightful)

              by drgonzo59 (747139) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @02:50PM (#18144632)
              I don't give a shit about one pissant ME country wanting to destroy another pissant ME country.

              but then you say

              ...if Iran attacks Israel, THEN we can get involved.

              Why get involved then if Israel is just another pissant ME country? You don't want to be the world's policeman but then you want to be the world policeman. You have to get your act straight.

              Let's assume that you want to be the world's policeman:
              Then it is a million times easier to police by _preventing_ the problems. Don't act when the countries already burned themselves to the ground, but stop them from getting the nukes in the first place. Your analogy between thoughcrimes when applied to humans vs. when applied to countries is not valid. In case of a country intelligence can be used to determine what the country is 'thinking'.

              Let's assume that you don't want to be the world's policeman:
              Then you should not giving a shit whatever happens in ME anyway. Israel gets wiped out - ok. Isreal wipes out the whole ME with nukes - also ok. Only when the nukes start flying towards US you retaliate.

              So pick one of the two...

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by toddestan (632714)
            Probably because Iran has openly stated its desire to wipe Israel off the map should it ever have the means to do so. I'm not a big fan of US foreign policy, but I don't recall them ever making such statements.

            On the other hand, the US has declared Iran to be part of the "Axis of Evil". While it's not clear exactly what that means, one of the three countries in the Axis of Evil has been invaded by the US and its government toppled.
          • by Robber Baron (112304) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @03:47PM (#18145086) Homepage

            Probably because Iran has openly stated its desire to wipe Israel off the map
            No they didn't. You're just parroting propaganda used to make a case for invasion. I bet you believed that Saddam was trying to buy yellowcake from Nigeria too.

            So what did Ahmadinejad actually say?

            "Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad." ..which when translated means"

            "The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time"

            Source [thetruthseeker.co.uk]

            So how in hell did your post get modded "insightful"? Slashdot isn't turning into Free Republic, is it?

      • Re:So... (Score:5, Informative)

        by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @11:58AM (#18143354)
        Why can't Iran do all the things that the U.S. do all the time?

        Because the NPT, of which Iran is a signatory, puts different restrictions on different countries. To wit, the US, Britain, and the other original nuclear powers must work to reduce their nuclear weapons stockpiles (which they are doing), and every other signatory must not undertake to obtain nuclear weapons.

        What is the problem with Iran investing in nuclear research and space technologies?

        Nuclear (power) research - good
        space technology - good
        possible nuclear weapons research - bad.
        The IAEA and the UN are not satisfied as to Iran's intentions vis a vis nuclear weapons research.

        The U.S. has said...

        You do realize "U.S." does not appear anywhere in the article. This is a comment from a former British ambassador. If you look carefully, you may realize that no one else on the planet wants Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, not just the US.
        • Re:So... (Score:5, Informative)

          by daveschroeder (516195) * on Sunday February 25, 2007 @12:24PM (#18143544)
          You do realize "U.S." does not appear anywhere in the article.

          That doesn't matter. Iran knows that this kind of provocative behavior and claims such as this (even if they're false) will successfully shift the debate to the US, in effect, further shifting or solidifying opinion against the US among groups of people both inside and outside of the US, even though the US hasn't done anything at all, and indeed, the only "action" of any kind taken, by anyone, has been by Iran.

          It's a really brilliant strategic move on Iran's part, actually. They can deflect attention from themselves, and shift the focus to what US reaction might or should be, even though the focus should remain on the fact that Iran shouldn't be allowed to proceed down this path, as has repeatedly been reiterated by UN and the rest of the international community. How long until revisionist history forgets that fact, and pretends it was "only the US" that had these feelings on Iran (which is ironic, since the US is probably one of the most silent nations on Iran right now, and has intentionally restricted any rhetoric on the Iran issue)?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            I'm not sure it actually works the way you describe. Not all the time, anyway. Personally, I've been watching the Iranian bravado for the last year with increased interest, and I've gathered enough from it to conclude that they are indeed deliberately provoking the US - but my thought on that was that whatever military response the US might come up with, Iran did ask for it, clearly and repeatedly. I'd be fully on US side in this one (and I didn't like the mess in Iraq the tiniest bit). I know quite a few p
        • by MarkusQ (450076) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @12:32PM (#18143608) Journal

          The IAEA and the UN are not satisfied as to Iran's intentions vis a vis nuclear weapons research.

          Perhaps. They aren't all that satisfied with the bogus "intelligence" the US has been feeding them [latimes.com], that's for sure.

          Although international concern is growing about Iran's nuclear program and its regional ambitions, diplomats here say most U.S. intelligence shared with the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency has proved inaccurate and none has led to significant discoveries inside Iran. [...] "Since 2002, pretty much all the intelligence that's come to us has proved to be wrong," a senior diplomat at the IAEA said. Another official here described the agency's intelligence stream as "very cold now" because "so little panned out."

          If I had to guess, the Iranian's claim to have a viable space program and the US claim that the Iranians have a viable weapons program are both about as reliable as the previous claims about Iraq and the smoking guns that were going to be mushroom clouds. I suppose I'm slightly more skeptical of the weapons programs claims, if only because Dick "never right about anything" Cheney has weighed in in support of the story.

          --MarkusQ

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by lixee (863589)

          Because the NPT, of which Iran is a signatory, puts different restrictions on different countries. To wit, the US, Britain, and the other original nuclear powers must work to reduce their nuclear weapons stockpiles (which they are doing), and every other signatory must not undertake to obtain nuclear weapons.

          The US lost total credibility with regard to the NPT because of Israel's nuclear stockpile. Also, the five original nuclear powers didn't display much good faith when it comes to disarmament. They ar

          • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Martin Blank (154261) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @02:59PM (#18144738) Journal
            Israel is not a signatory to the NPT, and therefore not bound by its protocols. Further, the five major nuclear powers have generally lowered their nuclear stance, as the US has seen a general reduction in weapon counts since about 1965, and the Soviets peaked in 1985 or so; at that time, the US and USSR combined for a total of around 70,000 weapons, and this has declined to about 26,000 weapons, with further withdrawals scheduled. There is no prohibition in the NPT for replacing old warheads with newer ones, as the concept of MAD still stands. Generally speaking newer warheads are less powerful than older, anyway. It was not uncommon to see 1MT or larger yields on warheads in the early decades, and yet (except for China) the yields of nuclear warheads that have been cycled in have decreased to an average of somewhere around 300kT, with many of them settable to well below that. This is because the accuracy has increased dramatically making it less necessary to have that kind of power to ensure destruction of the target. The last new warhead to come online in the US was the W88 warhead used in the Trident II SLBM which debuted in 1988, and for Russia possibly the warhead on the Topol-M which debuted in the mid-1990s.

            Iran has obligations under the NPT to open up its nuclear research program to international inspectors to allow them to confirm what Iran says is taking place, something that even the US and Russia do. Iran has refused to allow inspectors entry into several key facilities, and has refused to turn over information about them, violating their Safeguards agreement, according to the IAEA. Pakistan's refusal to make available A.Q. Khan -- known for stealing from other nations several plans critical for development of his own country's nuclear weapons -- for interviewing by the IAEA even after evidence came to light that he supplied at least some of Iran's nuclear technology has further heightened suspicions as to the nature of the program.

            I do see some hope in that Iran's economy -- which Ahmadinejad promised to turn around -- has continued to further tank even as Ahmadinejad has poured what may be billions of dollars into the nuclear program which has done little more than raise tensions with the West even as employment problems worsen. Evidence of support issues within the elite ranks of the clerics has come to light, and it may well be that Ahmadinejad will last only one term (though that means we still have to put up with him for another 2.5 years).
      • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Sunday February 25, 2007 @12:14PM (#18143462)
        This isn't just about the "US". No one wants Iran to have this capability (except, of course, Iran). Of course, if anyone ever actually has to do anything about Iran, I'm sure everyone will conveniently forget. I'd say you'd be first in line to forget, but you can't forget something you never knew.

        You might want to read this [un.org]. It's something that will be coming up again. The thing about UN resolutions is that there's only one kind that has teeth, and allows UN members to respond with force in the event of noncompliance. They're called Chapter VII UN Security Council resolutions. This is one of those resolutions. Everyone agreed.

        International Official Reaction to IAEA Report on Iran
        FEA20070223094786 - OSC Feature - International -- OSC Summary 23 Feb 07

        IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna (IAEA.org)

        On 22 February the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] issued a report to the organization's 35-nation board of governors declaring Iran has failed to suspend its enrichment related activities. Full report

        This product compiles official global reaction to the IAEA's report monitored by OSC as of 1630 GMT on 23 February.

        IRAN

        Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinezhad:

        "If we show weakness in front of the enemies, their expectations will increase, but if we stand against them, because of our resistance, they will retreat." Full report

        "Fairness requires that those who want to conduct talks with us also close their fuel cycle programs" so "we can conduct a dialogue in a fair atmosphere." Full report

        Iranian Expediency Council chief Hashemi Rafsanjani:

        "They will not reach anywhere through this path . . . the only way is to stop this bullying and stop this preconditioning so that we can all sit at the negotiation table." Full report

        MIDDLE EAST

        Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal:

        It is "too soon to adopt drastic measures. We continue to aspire to a peaceful solution." Full report

        RUSSIA

        Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov:

        Lavrov "intends to carefully study the report by the head of the IAEA Muhammad al-Baradi'i on Iran's nuclear dossier." Full report
        Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaliy Churkin:

        The UNSC's goal should not be "to adopt a new resolution on Iran or introduce sanctions against Tehran, but a political regulation of the Iranian nuclear problem." Full report

        EUROPE

        French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy:

        "We think that is now necessary to draft a new resolution, as quickly as possible, the six of us, the three Europeans, in particular, but also the Russians, the Chinese, and the Americans. It is necessary that this resolution go a little further than the one we already voted for unanimously on 23 December. It is only with unity and firmness on the part of the international community that we will create what is just beginning to stir in Iran today, namely a debate about the validity of President Ahmadinezhad's policy." Full report

        German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier:

        "What was confirmed today was to be expected, that Iran has failed to meet the expectations of the international community." Referring Iran to the UNSC is "one of the options" for handling the situation. Full report

        UK Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett:

        "Iran has so far failed to take this positive path and comply with Security Council requirements . . . we will therefore work for the adoption of further Security Council measures, which will lead to the further isolation of Iran internationally . . . we remain determined to prevent Iran acquiring the means to develop nuclear weapons." Full report

        Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel:

        Iran must understand that "the international community is united and firm" on the nuclear issue and that "dialogue must continue . . . diplomacy is never finished." Full report

        ASIA

        Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxi
      • Why is this such a big deal?
        Why can't Iran do all the things that the U.S. do all the time?
        What is the problem with Iran investing in nuclear research and space technologies?

        The big deal is that Mutually Assured Destruction does not work with the country that designed, engineered, and implemented suicide bombing. MAD should scare the crap out of people anybody who realizes that the US and Iran are both diametrically opposed countries whose foreign policy is heavily influenced (and at times, controlled) by religious fundamentalists. The US already has nuclear weapons. If Iran gets them, you can almost guarantee the US and Iran will eventually use them against each other (I'd

      • Re:So... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Yvanhoe (564877) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @12:57PM (#18143818) Journal
        Well, the international community protests when Iran gets a potentially dangerous technology and the same international community protests when U.S. behaves in a way that ignore human rights or international laws.

        Why is that so ? Because there is a belief that it is easier to make US change its behavior than to make it drop its technologies. Currently it is believed to be easier to make Iran drop its technology than to change its international stance but this opinion could very well change in the near future.
      • The US owns space (Score:5, Informative)

        by gilesjuk (604902) <giles.jones@NOspam.zen.co.uk> on Sunday February 25, 2007 @01:32PM (#18144074)
        Or so it would like to think.

        The US miltary always reserves the right to shoot down any satellites it thinks would threaten its security. Plus when the EU wanted to setup Galileo their alternative to GPS, the US wanted a code to be able to shut it down etc..

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rcs1000 (462363) *
          Hang on.

          All countries defend their interests. All countries reserve the rights to things (although most are less brazen at actually doing them than the US). China just demonsrated it has the ability to shoot down a satellite in space; both Russia and the US have done so in the past. No country unilaterally bars itself from future actions, or at least not without a clear benefit.

          So; the US is just like any other country. Only slightly bigger and a little bit more scary.
      • Re:So... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by sumdumass (711423) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @02:07PM (#18144268) Journal
        Because Iran has publicly threatened allied countries. Iran has a mixxed bag on human rights (it is actualy one of the better in the area but not alway that way). Because Iran has attempted to make the bomb. Becuase Iran has supported terrorist groups currently in conflict with the US. Because Iran has performed terrorist acts itself. Because Iran is a threat to many countries at the moment.

        As for the bomb. It has long been considered a bad thing to let other get it. It isn't because they need it to defend themselves or anything. It is more in the opinion that we know we won't use it unless it was used against us but we cannot be certain they won't.

        As for the rest, Americas interactions that parralell Iran's have been done in the Best ofr the interest of the united states and it's allies. Even when later it was found to have little positive effects it was considered at the time to be the best thing to do. Unfortunatly, this isn't an ideal world and not everything done has the greatest outcomes and not everything done was the best choice of the time. Although it was thought to have been the best choice. And the people not directly influenced by the positive results only see the negtive results but the key here isn't the results at all, It is who interest the actions were supposed to benifit. Iran's interest as presented presently will be against the interest of the US and some of it's allies.

        When you ask a question like that, You have to look at what can come from it, what it is likly to be used for and who it could effect. If it could effect you and it could damage your reletive's property and possibly lives, you tend to want them to stop doing it. Whatever "it" is. And unfortunatly, the intentions could be admirable, the outcome could be non threatening and we end up with something like chernobyl.

        As for being the only country to use a nuke. At the time it was used, there wasn't a concept of the damges it caused. It wasn't until after theat we discovered how bad they were. All we knew was an invasion into mainland japan would reult in massive loss of life for the good guys. While the intent of the bomb was only to inflict those losses on the enemy and save the "goodguys" (and yes are the good guys in that war) We unleashed something that couldn't be hidden again. Hilter was trying to find "the bomb" too ubt was unsuccessfull.

        So our only instance of using it, we found how bad it was and at the same time, we showed it was possible. This meant that anyone else working on it would have found it too eventualy. To take nukes off the table reagon made a decision that elimintated it's use for the vast majority of wars. Mutualy asured destruction (mad) means that If you use it, we use it and anything you would hope to gain from us will be lost in your lands and possibly more too. The fatal flaw here? the rogue state who doesn't want to invade someone. They want to see them completly destroyed as a clensing process simular to the final solution for the jews. Except countries like Iran have this concept imbeded in their religion wich ultimatly rules the lands. This religious clensing concept is most noticable in the goups labeled as terrorist and etream in the middle east areas.

        Yes Iran is more of a therocracy then a democracy or dictatorship. The president of Iran can be overruled at any time by the supreme leader (rahbar) who is a high prist or whatever the muslum position is with the same eeffects. SO lets say that Iran has the bomb and a delivery system that can reach anywere on earth. Now lets say that the extream religios factions infiltrate the churches in Iran and make the whole killing everyone else idea more popular. Now lets sat the Ayatollah is assasinated and his replacment is a follower of this extream belief. Now you will get atomic cleansing of all that disagree's with their religion and they see any retaliation as a test from god to determine how loyal they are. This exact scenario is the reason we are having so much of a problem fighting terrorist. How do you defeate an nemy that see dieing for the cause as the cause winning? And this makes Iran particularly dangerous moreso then other who mihgt get the bomb.
  • Heh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142)
    Iran's potential nuclear military programme, combined with an advanced missile capability, would destabilise the region

          The US has already done a good job at destabilizing the region. I doubt it could get much worse.
    • The US has already done a good job at destabilizing the region. I doubt it could get much worse.

      Looks like Iran has done a good job, again shifting the discourse from whether it should be continuing to develop its nuclear program against the will of the UN and most of the international community - no, not just the US; you might want to take a look at what the UN has been doing and stating consistently on Iran lately - to what the US has done (or will do) wrong.

      I considered mentioning this in my previous pos [slashdot.org]
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by swelke (252267)
        It's brilliant on the part of Iran, I'll give it that. Continue aggressively pursuing your nuclear program and posturing with intent to provoke reactions, knowing full well the debate will be shifted to the US.

        Not only that; they must have known darn well that Russia and China would never vote for particularly strong sanctions. Therefore, they knew they could get away with it for a certain amount of time. If this is confirmed, and if they can repeat (ie they didn't just buy a functional rocket from Ru
        • The amount of fear that the idea of even a small, half-assed nuke dropping in their favorite city will put in the hearts of every American means no invasions for Iran any time soon.

          In reality, hitting a particular city long range is a non-trivial exercise. Accurate IRBM (Iran->Europe) or ICBM (Iran->US) is not all that easy. The US and Russia have decades of practice hitting things at long range. Add in the technology to build a nuke warhead tough enough and small enough to fit on a missile, and Ir
    • Re:Heh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lbrandy (923907) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @11:26AM (#18143102)
      The US has already done a good job at destabilizing the region. I doubt it could get much worse.

      I know this is slashdot so anti-US trolling is par for the course, but it can. It can get much worse.
    • Re:Heh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lixee (863589) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @11:41AM (#18143208)

      The US has already done a good job at destabilizing the region. I doubt it could get much worse.
      I agree with the first part of your statement but saying that it couldn't get any worse is very naive. In fact, the recent deployment of an aircraft carrier in the Persian gulf and other allegations of Iraqi insurgents getting weapons from Iran show that the worst is yet to come.

      Think about it. Bush included Iran in his (in)famous "axis of evil" speech. Washington turned down Teheran's 2003 offer to open negociations. The US is cornering the Iranian regime and putting it in an impossible situation. Iranian reformists and moderates are extremely unhappy with the American attitude as it only radicalizes the regime in place. Everything indicates an imminent attack.

      On the 21st of February 2007, the same day the UN deadline to suspend nuclear activities expired, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made the following statement: "If they say that we should close down our fuel production facilities to resume talks, we say fine, but those who enter talks with us should also close down their nuclear fuel production activities". The white house's spokesperson Tony Snow rejected the offer. Think about it: the US is asking Iran to close its nuclear facilities before they agree to discuss closing down Iran's nuclear facilities. Let me reiterate: The US wants them to give up the very thing they want them to give up before considering negociating with them about that thing.

      Mad world.
      • Re:Heh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by swelke (252267) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @12:17PM (#18143478) Homepage Journal
        Let me reiterate: The US wants them to give up the very thing they want them to give up before considering negotiating with them about that thing.

        In other words, the administration doesn't want to negotiate with Iran, but they also don't want average dumb Americans to realize that. Americans hear "We'll negotiate as soon as (blah blah blah)", but most Americans don't know enough backstory to realize that the (blah blah blah) is an unreasonable precondition to negotiating.
      • Re:Heh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ScentCone (795499) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @12:43PM (#18143702)
        allegations of Iraqi insurgents getting weapons from Iran

        So, the hardware with the Iranian manufacturer's markings all over it is just an elaborate ruse? Fine. The actual Iranian operatives romping around in the country? Ah... they're part of the clever plan we have that includes actually running the Iranian government in secret, right? These aren't allegations, it's long history. Obviously, when Saddam attacked Iran, he certainly didn't do anything to make Iran less inclined to establish regular covert (and not so covert) forrays into that country to erode the Sunni-ness of the place.

        Bush included Iran in his (in)famous "axis of evil" speech

        Exactly. Because Iran was then, and still is busy funding and arming some of the worst terrorist groups in the world. They openly and proudly finance and support organizations that do seek to destabilize the middle east and throw it back into a medieval environment. They did and do still speak in terms of wiping Israel off the map. So, that makes them more like Canada, maybe? If you had to name a couple of countries most on the "evil" list, in terms of trafficking in weapons and daily support for Really Bad People, Iran and North Korea definitely are at the top, especially in the context of extremist Islamic militancy.

        The US is cornering the Iranian regime and putting it in an impossible situation. Iranian reformists and moderates are extremely unhappy with the American attitude as it only radicalizes the regime in place.

        Do you not even WATCH press coverage of Europe? The US has been bending over backwards to allow Europe, the UN, and the IAEA to do what the EU has been insisting they be allowed to do: talk this to death, and use sanctions to make Iran somehow magically not want to have nuclear weapons while at the same time talking up the pending demise of its most hated regional enemy. The people establishing the "impossible situation" are the whole of the UN security council. European big-wigs are the ones standing up and saying the same things: this can't be allowed, sanctions will be needed, etc. Just because the US says the same thing, that makes it all a US-based issue? Why?

        Iranian reformists and moderates are extremely unhappy with the American attitude as it only radicalizes the regime in place.

        So, accommodating that same radical, crazy regime, and sending them the message that indeed, arming up with nukes, stoking a religious civil war in Iraq, wiping Israel off the map - these are all good, reasonable things... that serves the reformers how?

        The US wants them to give up the very thing they want them to give up before considering negociating with them about that thing.

        How does ceasing to expand an existing weapons program as a precurser to negotiations equal "giving up" on it? The point is that they (Iran) are unwilling, as expected, to demonstrate any interest whatsoever actually not producing nukes. Why even bother sitting through pointless and empty negotiations if the very first step - which includes them doing something to show they even have an interest - is something they're already saying they won't do? It just saves everyone a lot of time. There doesn't need to be any negotiation because they don't intend to carry them out or abide by them anyway. It's hardly a mystery. Do you really wonder if the same guy that says he's just cured AIDS is going to negotiate in good faith to give up something he's already said he'll never give up... and says those things in the context of his promises to see the US and her allies destroyed?
    • by mochan_s (536939)
      Wouldn't all of this (Iran's nuclear and missile capabilities) stabilize the region?

      US and USSR never in war because of MAD. Same with India and Pakistan.

      Of course, people say the Iranians are crazy and not rational and so on. Yeah, right.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lumpy (12016)
      The US has already done a good job at destabilizing the region. I doubt it could get much worse.

      Oh Ye of little faith. There is a LOT more we can do to make things much worse. The flaming Idiot we have as a Vice president is calling for attacks on Iran. That most certainly would start the fast spiral into a world war.

      Don't sell the USA short, we can destabilize the entire world in the next couple of years... And just wait for the next incompetent idiots we get in the white house after that!
  • Confusion? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Renfield Spiffioso (982789) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @11:22AM (#18143080)
    Reuters, amoungst others, is reporting this is a sub-orbital Research rocket [reuters.co.uk], not a space missile.
    • by grumbel (592662)
      Isn't the official definition of space something like 100km above earth? This missile reached 150km, a good bit above that. Still along way to make it into a stable orbit, but it is still 'space'.
  • by brxndxn (461473) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @11:27AM (#18143106)
    Iran cured AIDS, but the evil US is preventing the world from getting the cure.

    Iran also cured cancer, saved the world's starving population, and their nuclear agenda is for peace.

    It takes more than Iranian media for me to believe anything they say.

  • The Iranians haven't released any photos. I have a nagging suspicion this is the North Korea nuke test all over again. There are a lot of knowledgeable people who think that was a fake (yielded under 1 megaton). And this fits the pattern: desperate, weird country claims major technological achievement but refuses to provide visual evidence.
  • Sir Richard Dalton, told the BBC that, if confirmed, such a move could destabilise the Middle East

    Because the Middle East is so stable right now. And who is mostly responsible for this wild stability? Iran?

    • > > Sir Richard Dalton, told the BBC that, if confirmed, such a move could destabilise the Middle East

      > Because the Middle East is so stable right now.

      And because a long history of western interventions has done so much to help.
  • by fantomas (94850) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @11:53AM (#18143322)
    Serious question. Is there an international treaty that says they don't have the right to attempt to get a satellite up into space?

    Mind you I think we need to wait for independent confirmation, could just be political bluffing. The Iranian government knows that if they can get something into orbit and a successful nuclear weapons test done then the USA will back away from hawkish talk of using 'whatever means necessary' and suddenly become all friendly and overlook any issues to get round a table and trade for future oil supplies.

    We all know the number one reason any nation tries to get a satellite into orbit is so the rest of the world knows that they can drop a bomb onto anybody else's doorstep / president's country retreat if they feel they need to.
  • Sir Richard Dalton, how come launching a rocket destabilise the region?

    Is it like, placing military everywhere on every part of the planet?
  • Between Iran and America, America is the "real" theocracy, right ? ... or at least that what many idiots here want you to believe.
    • Re:But don't worry (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lxt518052 (720422) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @12:44PM (#18143714)
      Man, can you please stop viewing the world in black and white only for a second?

      It's not a dead-or-alive game and nobody is forcing you to choose side...

      Oh, wait a minute, somebody in USofA seemed to having said:
      You're either with us, or against us.

      Sorry, I'm mistaken. #-

  • by kkkalf (853313)
    Why is Iran's technological advancements systematically tagged as a danger to the rest of the world?

    > if there were a bomb that could be placed on the end of this missile, it would in breach of Iran's obligations under the non-proliferation treaty

    Sir Richard Dalton's declaration is nothing more than propaganda. Basically he is saying that IF those rockets were armed with nuclear heads, then it would be a breach of the non-proliferation treaty. So Iran's space program is in nothing a breach to any treaty.
  • Not to play devils' advocate here, but why is he throwing a hissyfit over Iran launching payload into space (if that's even true... the details are scarse, to say the least). Have they even broke a treaty here? Oh, but "if a bomb were on the end of this missile, it would in breach of Iran's obligations". Meh.

    It's the same crap with their nuclear program, all over again. Let it be. It's not like the first world has a monopoly on technology that might be put to military use. Frankly, nowadays i worry more abo
    • > Not to play devils' advocate here, but why is he throwing a hissyfit over Iran launching payload into space (if that's even true... the details are scarse, to say the least).

      Because Certain People need an excuse to start another war.
    • > Not to play devils' advocate here, but why is he throwing a hissyfit over Iran launching payload into space (if that's even true... the details are scarse, to say the least). Have they even broke a treaty here?

      Not unless Wikipedia's summary of the treaty's articles [wikipedia.org] is missing something big.

      Just more warmongering. Though I'm surprised the UK is still playing that game.
  • by Legion303 (97901) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @12:25PM (#18143556) Homepage
    "Iranian TV broke the news of the reported test saying: 'The first space rocket has been successfully launched into space.'"

    This report brought to you by the Iranian TV department of redundancy department in Iran, via TV reporting.
  • I say lets truck one in to every middle eastern capital, embed it in a huge block of concrete in the center of town, put the triggers in the hands on the leaders in the region with a half hour delay to STOP the bombs from going off.

    As long as everybody there to stop the trigger, everything's fine.

    The moment some country stops reporting in, boom, they ALL go off.

    Case closed. M.A.D. on a small scale.

    We stop worrying about any one leader suddenly deciding to blow up his neighbor.

    It also makes space based weapo
  • by MrSteveSD (801820) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @01:32PM (#18144066)
    So Iran, a country with no nuclear weapons at all, is the threat? There is no evidence of a weapons program, only vague allegations. Why are we so focused on Iran when it is the existing nuclear powers that present the real nuclear threat. None of the nuclear powers have any intention of disarming, which they are required to due under article VI of the NPT. And I mean fully disarm, not get rid of a few missiles as a token gesture.

    The US withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002 based on the flimsy excuse that the Soviet Union non longer existed, when we all knew Russia was effectively taking over in that role. Now the US is actively pursuing an ABM system and the Russians are getting quite twitchy about it. This presents much more of a nuclear threat than Iran's civilian nuclear program. Why are the media not continually harassing the US over the issue and accusing them of threatening world peace?

    Clearly the US sets the news agenda, so perhaps the relative silence over the ABM threat is not surprising (even if it should be). If it is taboo to talk about the existing nuclear powers as the real threat, what about Saudi Arabia? There have been a number of independent reports over several years which claim Saudi Arabia is pursuing a secret nuclear program with Pakistan. Why is this being ignored. Could it possibly be because they are an ally?
  • by Assassin bug (835070) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @01:40PM (#18144118) Journal
    It would not remain in orbit but could rise to about 150km (94 miles) before a parachute-assisted descent to Earth. That's just above the Karman Line [wikipedia.org]. And it's important to note that bragging in the Middle East is often like the threat-display behavior of elephants [sanparks.org] -- lots of posturing. Recent memory [wikipedia.org] should provide some guidance and experience here!!
  • by niktemadur (793971) on Sunday February 25, 2007 @10:10PM (#18148190)
    First and foremost, I am categorically not a fan of US foreign policy, as it is myopic, petty and/or inhumane more often than not.

    That said, the iranian government has, in succession:
    1. Threatened to destroy a nation.
    2. Turned itself into a global focus point for nuclear rethoric and chest-thumping.
    3. Declared the triumphant launch of an ICBM equivalent.

    WTF are they thinking? It's almost as if they're screaming at Cheney-Bush Inc: "Lookee here, fuck us up! We'll give you excuses to do it!"
    Can't they keep their zipper closed until there's hope for dialogue in 2009, once the jug-eared goon squatting in the White House moseys on back to his ranch in Texas or Paraguay or wherever?
    Are they itching to have their country and population brutally victimized? Then again, remember how they used children as suicide soldiers during their war with Iraq back in the eighties.
    Are they itching for an excuse to turn off their oil spigot, generating a global economic crisis, enriching the texan oil robber barons in the process? Remember that whenever there's a crisis of this sort, Chevron, Texaco and Shell invariably end up reporting their highest quarterly earnings in history.

    As the cherry on the putrid cake, both sides in this fiasco play the religious card, the impending fulfillment of prophecy as some sort of implicit fact and key policy element.

    All the world is threatened to get caught in the crossfire. Just another in-your-face scenario that reiterates the urgent need for alternative energy sources, as decentralized as humanly possible.
  • by Archtech (159117) on Monday February 26, 2007 @08:49AM (#18151650)
    I just don't understand it. For months, every media outlet I see or hear has been telling me, over and over, how dangerous Iran is, how it is working to acquire nuclear weapons, and how its having rocket capability makes everything still worse.

    Yet I can't, for the life of me, see any facts to back up these assertions. It's beginning to feel as if Chicken Little has taken over the US and UK governments. Correct me if I'm wrong, but AFAIK Iran has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has scrupulously observed its provisions. (Relatively easy, when you don't have any nuclear weapons). It says that it wants to acquire nuclear power for peaceful purposes, and that it does not intend to build any nuclear weapons.

    So our governments declare (with no evidence whatsoever that I can see) that the Iranians are lying, and that they are working on a nuclear weapons program. Therefore the UN must pass resolutions telling them to stop enrichment, and if they don't the USA will do what it usually does to countries that don't knuckle under and obey its instructions.

    How does this stack up with Pakistan, which acquired nuclear weapons and has a stack of them ready to use? Or Israel, which AFAIK has not signed the NNP Treaty and has ignored more UN resolutions than I've had pizzas, and yet is assumed to have a stock of nuclear weapons ready to use? Or, come to that, with the USA and UK which plan to continue enhancing their nuclear weapons capability, in spite of their obligation under the NNP Treaty to work towards getting rid of it?

    As the Iranians point out, their country has not attacked any other nation for at least 300 years - at which time it was under the control of foreign rulers anyway. How can it profit them laboriously to construct a paltry few crude, low-yield nuclear weapons, when the USA is ready to hit them with the full thermonuclear force it prepared for a war with the USSR?

    I know which scares me more - the medium-sized nation with a track record of peaceful behaviour and no WMDs, or the big nation with tens of thousands of nuclear and thermonuclear weapons, massive stocks of biological and chemical weapons, a defence budget about the size of the rest of the world's combined, and a record of attacking close to 2 dozen other nations since 1945, at the cost of 4 million or more lives.

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