Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Now we are apparently in the satellite non-proliferation business...

... because Iran has used what is essentially 50-year-old technology to plop a small satellite into space?

Now the former head of the Israeli Space Agency (who knew they had one?) opines that this means Iran now has the ballistic missile capability to hit western Europe:

Iran's launch of a satellite on Tuesday demonstrates a new and advanced capability that allows Teheran to fire ballistic missiles carrying nuclear warheads all the way to Western Europe, said Maj.-Gen. (res.) Isaac Ben-Israel, the former head of the Israel Space Agency.

"You need specific and added energy when firing a satellite that weighs between 30 and 50 kilograms into space," Ben-Israel, who is also a Kadima MK, told The Jerusalem Post. "If they succeeded, then the equivalent within the atmosphere is firing a ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead that weighs one ton all the way to Western Europe."

This is a pretty interesting assertion, given that China required significant external technical assistance to develop ballistic missiles capable of hitting the west coast of the US, which it got--in part--from Israel.

Which China apparently turned around and loaned to ... Iran.

So Israel now needs us to help police the whole satellite proliferation issue:

The White House said Iran was not acting responsibly with its satellite launch.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says: "This action does not convince us that Iran is acting responsibly to advance stability or security in the region."

He called any effort to develop missile delivery capability, continue an illicit nuclear program, or threaten Israel an "acute concern to this administration."

Gibbs also reiterated that the administration will use all elements of its national power to deal with Iran.

That's it: no DirectTV for Teheran.

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