Crossfire War – Iran Inaugurates Underground Military Satellite Command Center

Crossfire War – RAPID FIRE NEWS=TEHRAN – BEIJING – DAMASCUS WATCH – Global Theatre: Tehran – Beijing – Riyadh – Islamabad – Belgrade – Damascus/Rome – Jerusalem – Washington – Tokyo – Delhi – Moscow; Iran Inaugurates Space Center – Satellite Launch Pad – Production Line of Advanced Radar – Electronic Warfare Equipment – Heavy Fighting in South Gaza Between Israel/Hamas

Night Watch: SEMNAN – After ten years of planning and development Iran inaugurated its “Space Research Center” and satellite launching pad. Gulf-Times/AFP reports the ceremony was timed for the 29th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979 led by the Ayatollah Khomeini. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attended the ceremony with military and Defense Ministry officials and was instructed to make the ridiculous statement the research center is for the benefit of mankind, something similar to Neil Armstrong’s remarks to his first step on the moon. Militaries and Defense Ministries are not noted for scientific humanitarian research, which is why the “Space Research Center” should really be called Military Satellite Underground Command and Control Launch Center with the launch pad for military satellites, quite possibly armed with laser, which is why much is still shrouded in secrecy. The exact location was of course not mentioned but reports place the control center-launch pad in the desert province of Semnan southeast of Tehran. [GULFTIMES]

Underground – The rocket used for the satellite test launch has been designated Kavoshgar-1, similar to Iran’s Shahab-3. The altitude the rocket achieved was not mentioned though it was stated the satellites launched from there would use a low earth orbit. Tehran’s interest in the latest in military technology is as old as the Islamic revolution and their eight-year war with Iraq, 1980-88, during which Tehran purchased the Scud ballistic missile from North Korea. In 1996 Reuters reported Iran was involved in laser research which, then U. S. Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger stated in 1987, laser can be used to set cities on fire and that the Soviet Union was testing it somewhere in the Middle East. Weinberger did not say where in the Middle East so I assumed Afghanistan where a lot can take place with little or no publicity. Moscow invaded the country in 1979, as a way to outflank China, and given Iran’s interest in the conflict may have found out how effective laser is. Iran has also used laser in its uranium enrichment. When the Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989 and dissolved the following year news then mentioned a lot of Russian scientists went south. Everyone knows the Jihad pays well. Many Chinese technicians are also involved in Iran’s nuclear-ballistic-satellite programs knowing Iran has the potential to weaken three of China’s rivals, the West-India-Russia. [XINHUA]

Iran has always prided itself on the independence of its military-industry and using Iranian technicians so with this new underground command center, I assume staffed exclusively by Iranians, all they have left to do is launch their first domestically produced satellite, the Omid, which is scheduled for the Iranian month of Khordad-May 21 and Iran will be completely ready for (f)allout war. Previous Iranian satellites were launched through Russia reported on in late October 2005.

Shiraz – In a parallel development Xinhua reports Iran’s Defense Ministry has unveiled it own domestically produced line of thirty weapons systems, advanced radar and electronic warfare. Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar announced it was intended “to domesticate technology required for production of armaments.” Only two items produced were mentioned, smart fuses and radar lamps developed by Iran’s Shiraz Electronic Industries. reported (May 3, 2006) the Pentagon was developing a ground based laser for use against orbiting enemy satellites. [XINHUA]

Abassan – Three Israelis were wounded in Sderot as Hamas fired a ten Qassam barrage at the city Tuesday evening that also caused some power outages and serious property damage. The Jerusalem Post reports Hamas stated it was in retaliation for an Israel Air Force (IAF) strike that killed seven Hamas members. The air strike occurred in the Gaza village of Abassan east of Khan Yunis. Earlier Tuesday there was a firefight between Hamas and Israel Defense Force (IDF) units as the IDF was targeting an area frequently used to fire Qassams at the Kerem Shalom and Sufa crossings. [JPOST]

With Hamas now in control of the Rafah Terminal on the Egypt-Gaza border, and with Tehran now able to use the Sinai-Israel border to stage attacks into Israel, the Qassam rocket fire has resumed.

Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.