Iran General NewsIran nearing satellite launch, U.S. magazine says

Iran nearing satellite launch, U.S. magazine says

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Reuters: Iran has converted a 30-ton ballistic missile into a satellite launch vehicle that will be used to send a satellite into space soon, a move that could have wider security implications, Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine reported on its Web site on Thursday. WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iran has converted a 30-ton ballistic missile into a satellite launch vehicle that will be used to send a satellite into space soon, a move that could have wider security implications, Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine reported on its Web site on Thursday.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, spoke about the upcoming launch to religious students and clerics in Qom, the industry trade publication said.

The launcher is a version of the Shahab 3 missile that has a range of 800 to 1,000 miles, the magazine said, citing unidentified U.S. agencies. A missile of its kind could reach Saudi Arabia and as far west as Turkey, the report said.

Additionally, improvements in space launches could help Iran build an intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of almost 2,500 miles, according to the magazine.

The satellite launch by Iran would likely increase concern by the United States and Europe about its strategic capabilities and intentions, the magazine said.

Iran has long been at odds with the United States and Europe, pushing ahead with plans to enrich uranium as part of what Tehran calls a peaceful energy program. The West has feared that Iran instead was trying to develop nuclear weapons.

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