Iran successfully launched its first satellite, marking a symbolic step that has some security experts concerned about possible implications regarding space militarization.
The country launched its first domestically manufactured satellite aboard a Safir-2 rocket, with the stated intentions of research and telecommunications, Iranian TV officials said. Iran's launch of its Omid (meaning "Hope") satellite was scheduled to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Iranian revolution.
Security experts from the United States, France, and several other nations showed great concern after the successful launch, though President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said it had only peaceful intentions for the Iranian space program.
As the United States continues to struggle finding money for NASA, space programs in China, Russia, Iran and India continue to increase their presence in space -- which some U.S. politicians find troubling. There is a high amount of concern over the possibility Iran may use its space program to launch ballistic missiles, and the Iranian satellite program may be using technology that could launch missiles.
It's even more serious because the United Nations has sanctions in place against Iran because the country is reportedly interested in building nuclear weapons, and the launch technology could be used to attack other nations with a long-range missile with a nuclear warhead.
"There's almost always a link between satellite programs like this and military programs and there's almost always a link between satellites and nuclear weapons," Center for Strategic and International Studies defense technology expert James Lewis told the Associated Press. It's the same delivery vehicle."
However, Iranian officials have repeatedly stated the country's goals involve furthering its growing space program, and not launching missiles.
"Iran's satellite technology is for purely peaceful purposes and to meet the needs of the country," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said during a press conference.
In February 2008, the country launched a low-orbit research rocket, and then launched a rocket able to carry satellites into orbit last August. Prior to its own launch, Iran was forced to rely on Russian rockets to launch satellites into space.
quote: "The difference between Iran and Iraq is that Iranian leadership is completely bat-sh*t-insane"
quote: Europe has benefitted so long off the free protection and stabilizing influence of the US
quote: If there is anyone that would support a terrorist it would be Iran
quote: 2) What are you whining about the economy? After all, you're living an American Dream. Big house, big car, money and greed running wild.
quote: Israel has shown unprecedented restraint.
quote: sounds more like torture
quote: The IDF has used phosphorous responsibly and legally (i.e. as a smokescreen) just like every other army...You're showing your a$$ by having a double standard
quote: The IDF has used phosphorous responsibly and legally (i.e. as a smokescreen) just like every other army... and while you're at it why don't you bitch about the constant stream of rockets (some with phosphorous) that are targeted at Israeli civilians.
quote: Dear friends,We hold the [sic] military supremacy, yet fail the battle over the international media. We need to buy time for the IDF to succeed, and the least we can do is spare some (additional) minutes on the net. The ministry of foreign affairs is putting great efforts in balancing the media, but we all know it's a battle of numbers. The more we post, blog, talkback, vote – the more likely we gain positive sentiment.I was asked by the ministry of foreign affairs to arrange a network of volunteers, who are willing to contribute to this effort. If you're up to it you will receive a daily messages & media package as well as targets.If you wish to participate, please respond to this email.
quote: They have. The fact that Israel hasn't said enough is enough and leveled Palastine, and Syria is a testament to their restraint. In their position, many other countries would have leveled them or taken over and declared martial law. See: Russia, China, US....
quote: Haven't seen one of the bastids step up to the plate and offer land.
quote: Collateral damage is a fact of war.
quote: Frankly I have no qualms about one annihilating the other over there. 100lb bomb is restraint. They could be dropping 2000lb GBU's or JDAM's.
quote: Sorry, but I don't subscribe to the "think of the innocents" argument when retaliating with a show of force. The objective is to deliver an overwhelming response to any attack. The U.S., and others do this whenever they respond. Overwhelming superiority in the theatre of war, shock and awe, etc....
quote: You don't lob rockets back when they are fired at you. You respond swiftly and with the biggest stick you can get your hands on. This lets them know, for damage they inflict on you, the consequences will be an order of magnitude higher.
quote: He was AT HOME.
quote: So what? Why would anyone care if hes at home or at his terrorist compound planning the next attack? Your occupation does not stop at the door.
quote: No instead they should just let themselves continue to be bombed by groups that seek their destruction, never retaliating. Because diplomacy is always the only answer right?Israel has the right to defend itself. And war isn't pretty. Israel did it the way its supposed to be done. Without regard for how things look on the news.
quote: It can be done, but they don't..... Why?
quote: it's clear that they have the right to defend themselves.
quote: The Palestinians surely do [have the right to defend themselves].
quote: Finally, as someone who has castigated the US many times for "going against the world" in invading Iraq, you might want to consider....
quote: Defense does not include randomly targeted rocket attacks.
quote: An occupied people always resorts to guerilla warfare.
quote: Redrawing the lines at the 1967 boundaries is probably the best overall solution, but to claim it means "justice for all" is far off the mark.
quote: The Palestinians surely do. Living your entire life in the squalor of a mud-filled refugee camp, having to continually ask an Israeli soldier for permission to come and go, while Israeli settlers build new homes on your ancestral farm, it's tempting to strike back every now and then.
quote: Utter rubbish
quote: oh noes, shrapnel over several square miles. Good job there is this pre-existing no-mans land that the IDF shoots anyone seen in dead.
quote: This is not self defence, that's the point.
quote: What stupid idiot fires a rocket, that he knows will be retaliated for, and then waits around for the artillery shells to land on his position?
quote: How about the ammunition attachment.
quote: It can't keep up a rate of fire necessary to knock down a dozen rockets without a 9 minute reload.
quote: By the way, this uses standard bullets to knock down rockets/missiles. It's nothing but a Phalanx with a larger gun. I'm sorry, but this thing isn't going to stop much in a barrage. It's clearly designed to stop half a dozen or so missiles/rockets and that's it.
quote: Is instigating a press blockade the way a country goes about 'not being concerned about how it look son the news'?
quote: If Israel gave back the land they've stolen and settled, stopped bulldozing palestinian houses and stop using white phosphorous shells on civilians then maybe they'll stop trying to kill Israelis.
quote: I've always said, If Israel was really serious about peace (and not agressive expansionism) then it wouldn't spend billions bombing the hell out of it's neighbour to stop 5 rockets coming over. It'd spend a tenth that installing systems to shoot down these missiles before they even get over to Israel.
quote: If you don't think it can be done, go and read up on the aegis and goalkeeper defence systems employed on naval vessels (those things vulnerable to missiles). It can be done, but they don't..... Why?
quote: What is actually true is that the press are full of people that might expose what the IDF is doing and let the truth get out. Hence they are banned.
quote: Israel DOES violate the cease fire, has done already and always did. not to mention it still opresses them. If some neighbouring country stopped me leaving my village to go to the next and see my dying relative I'd sure as hell want revenge.
quote: yeah well when one side has the media monopoly then opinions like this undoubtedly form.
quote: When you just damn well know that another attack is coming whether you re-arm or not then I'd chose the option where I have something to fight back with.
quote: How the F*CK is obliterating another country 'making peace'?
quote: yeah, beause it would work and Israel wouldn't be able to get away with its agressive expansionism anymore.
quote: They could kill as many gazans as they like, that course of action will NEVER EVER EVER lead to the gazans accepting Israels hold over their land and their people.
quote: Not when there is nothing left to damage except PEOPLE and their HOMES.
quote: WRONG, it sends the message of 'we ARE the monsters those hamas people tell you we are'
quote: The IRA had a whole bombing campaign across britain and killed a lot more people than hamas did.
quote: If there is no gazans left, I would say that works out to the same end result no?
quote: then the birth rate would likely not be as high to offset the number killed in conflicts each year.
quote: We also forget that the IRA [tried ]their best NOT to kill people
quote: yes, there was lots of killing
quote: Riiiiight. Because Israel really cares what a bunch of BBC and CNN reporters think?
quote: Right, so lets get to crux of your statement there. Israel opresses them so its ok. Your true colors show at last.
quote: Hamas clearly has the monopoly on the media. I can't count the number of "poor innocent children, etc.." I hear about every day on CNN and the BCC and how they were innocent victims of Israeli rocket fire, bullets, etc.... Get real.
quote: So your telling me Hamas can predict the future now eh? Alright, tell them to get me next weeks lottery numbers.
quote: Extremely easily. It takes 2 to fight, eliminating Player 1 or 2 results in peace. It's simple mathematics really. 2-1 = 1.
quote: I see Israel building fences and pulling back more than expanding, but thanks for playing.
quote: Clearly that isn't enough to get them to knock it off with the rocket attacks.
quote: Considering that is taught in schools from a young age, and reinforced by teaching and actions at home, Israel not responding would mean "We're winning, those evil zionists are on the run, huzzah!". I prefer the retaliation method myself.
quote: There were quite a few IRA members killed and/or arrested during that timeframe as well
quote: Israel pulled out of the Gaza strip. When they left it was a very nice area with luxury homes. Now its like a third world country
quote: And honestly I'm all for just letting the Middle East duke it out amongst themselves.
quote: Israel did not steal any land. Israel won them fair and square when the Arab states tried to exterminate Israel. If it's anyone fault, it's the Arab states
quote: The correct analogy would be Pakistan attacks India. India fights back and captures East Pakistan.
quote: True, Israel did launch a pre-emptive strike on Egypt's airforce...Israel only struck first to prevent an inevitable Egyption attack
quote: Should Israel give all the land back?
quote: Israel doesn't want the Palestinians to have a legitimate army though as then the terrorist argument cannot be made which is swallowed by surprisingly gullible people like Mr Kenobi above, allowing Israel a free hand to slaughter thousands.
quote: Seriously, are you saying that the Palestinians could fund or even have room for a modern military but they choose to limit themselves to the occasional suicide bombing and the odd random rocket attack?
quote: A balance of power isn't in the Israeli government's best interests of course. It would be in the interest of the Israeli people, but what is in their best interests has never really been at the top of the ruling classes priorities.
quote: The people who benefit the most from every missile fired out of Gaza or wherever are, somewhat ironically, the Israeli government.
quote: The last few months of attacks was meant to achieve one thing and one thing only, make it high up the political agenda when someone new moved into the white house a short time ago. That Israel went to far and had to withdraw was a bit of a miss calculation on their part but it has had the desired effect, by and large.
quote: Those in Gaza not having an army is no excuse for launching rockets at Israel after Israel GAVE THEM THE FRACKING LAND
quote: Legitimate Army is just that, an army. If you can't understand that then I really don't know where to go. I'll give you a clue, I was talking about a balance of power.
quote: Not being allowed to have an army means that you don't have much of a choice but to fight how you can in the most effective manner available. What are they expected to do? Let Israel take over their land and treat them like they do and offer nothing back. People here keep on saying that Israel has teh right to defend itself but Palestinians can't?
quote: Maybe they should ask themselves why some Palestinians hate them so much? How would they (or you) feel if the roles were reversed?
quote: When there is such a massive advantage in military power there really is no excuse for the way that Israel has behaved.
quote: I'd liken it to a midget poking a grown man in the eye and then the grown man claiming that holding the midget down by the throat and punching them in the face until it is a bloody mess for weeks on end wa acceptable and then being surprised if, when finally released, they didn't thank them for being so graceful as to release them but maybe fought back with what they could. Sure, you aren't going to like that but there you go.
quote: The banning of international journalists from Gaza is proof enough that the leaders of Israel do not want credible sources to emerge with conflicting reports to their own.
quote: Why is it not also war?
quote: And Israel can easily defend itself...
quote: Unless you think those much vaunted Patriot missiles are actually so crap they couldn't shoot down a home-made unguided rocket?
quote: By the disproportionate response alone, the leaders of Israel (both political and military) have committed war crimes - but don't expect them to get pulled up for it.
quote: Because Fox news uses terms like “homicide bomber”
quote: and refers to entire countries as “terrorist nations”
quote: This kind of over-the-top pro-Israel slant far surpasses CNN and MSNBC
quote: As opposed to what? Please tell me. "Innocent boomer"?
quote: Oh how politically incorrect.
quote: The pro-Israel slant is so much worse than CNN and MSNBC basically telling all Americans that if you don't vote for Obama you're a racist.
quote: Rights activists say Gaza's Hamas rulers and other Palestinian groups committed war crimes by targeting Israeli civilians with rockets. They also say Hamas' use of human shields, as alleged by Israel, would constitute war crimes
quote: Human Rights Groups Fight to Prove Gaza and Hamas Violated Laws of War
quote: Given the clarity of Hamas' violations, such as firing rockets at Israeli cities, organizations are focusing more on Israeli actions, the facts of which they say are harder to establish.
quote: Who and Hamas? I rest my case.
quote: Because remember, the Palestinians are the enemy and are obviously in the wrong. Israel? Well, it's a little more complicated
quote: Hmm, kind of makes you wonder if Iran is thinking ..."yes, our missile is intended for peaceful purposes. Once Israel is wiped off the map, THEN there will be peace."
quote: What he said was 'much like the fascist regime of hitler and the communist regime of cold war Russia, the Zionist regime in Israel will vanish from the pages of time'.
quote: Im not sure what your point here is - are you honestly trying to justify statements on behalf of Iran? If so, you're an absolute idiot.
quote: I will choose to believe the reports of the translations, especially when its the words of 10 newspapers versus the words of you,
quote: who think Palestine and Iran are honorable countries.
quote: Besides, you're trying to convince me that the same guy who believes the Holocaust never happened ISN'T saying he wants to wipe Israel off the map.
quote: I've seen Israel give and give while its enemies refuse a peaceful solution.
quote: Not that I believe your translation over the professional translators... but you do realize that there have been many Muslim leaders talking about killing all Jews... right? Surely you've done some research?
quote: Iran can do whatever it pleases. It doesn't have to ask the US for "permission" to go to Space.
quote: There is a slight disagreement between Iran and Israel over the land Israel occupies, but I'm sure they could sort it all out over a few beers in a neutral bar. They could all (including Lebanon and Palestine) sit down together over a few pints and agree on common borders. That would make sense and everyone in the Middle East could live in peace together. Problem solved
quote: P.S.: I am not Muslin, or Iranian, and I am not trying to defend their political regime. I just would like to see grown ups do the talking. It would prevent wars to happen.
quote: the only thing is that those people are not the one you hear the most.
quote: ....fringe Muslim groups to christians
quote: Does no one take the logical next step and think that if they do get them, using them would mean certain and instant annihilation for their entire country.
quote: It's the same reason that North Korea will never actually use its nuclear weapons, because not only would the US be all over them, China would as well for disrupting world trade.
quote: Why is everyone so concerned about Iran getting nuclear weapons?Does no one take the logical next step and think that if they do get them, using them would mean certain and instant annihilation for their entire country.
quote: If Iran has a large nuclear arsenal and the means to deliver it, what if it suddenly decides to claim a small piece of Iraq, or even say Qatar? Are other nations really going to risk nuclear war to stop them? It seems quite unlikely.
quote: I am of the opinion that Iran wouldn't want to invade countries on its periphery if we hadn't studded those lands with hostile military forces
quote: Once a nation has nuclear weapons, the amount of leverage other states can exert upon it is very limited
quote: If Iran has a large nuclear arsenal and the means to deliver it, what if it suddenly decides to claim a small piece of Iraq, or even say Qatar?
quote: Are other nations really going to risk nuclear war to stop them? It seems quite unlikely.
quote: an astute anaylsis
quote: amount of military technology that Israel...from the US