Thursday, November 17, 2005

Iran and its Satellites

Iran is investing not only in nuclear and missile capability, but in satellite technology as well. In October 2005, Teheran commissioned the launch of a Russian manufactured rocket into outer space. This satellite, named Sina-1, gives Iran the ability to monitor developments in Israel in addition to the geological surveillance of earthquake prone Iranian plateau itself. Iran hopes to commission the launch of the part-Italian manufactured reconnaissance satellite Mesbah in January 2006 purportedly to monitor natural phenomena in Iran. The second satellite will be launched from Russia as well. Iran hopes to launch a telecommunications satellite named Zohreh in 2007. It signed a US$ 132 million agreement with a Russian firm in this regard. Zohreh is intended to boost communications outreach within Iran. Teheran hopes to commission four additional communications satellites between 2007 and 2010.

It is evident that Iran intends to join the exclusive nuclear and space club. As the United States gets bogged down in an increasingly futile hit and run war in Iraq, Iran appears to be surging ahead. Iran's Shahab-3 missile already has a range of 1,240 miles and is capable of hitting targets within Israel. It would be interesting to note the response of Israel in the coming months.


doubtinggaurav said...

Another theocracy with nuclear arsenal, just what India needs! :-(

The Greatest Hokie Ever !! said...

Interesting point gaurav raised. What are our long term plans wrt Iran. We currently enjoy moderately to good relations with both Israel and Iran. Is it time to take a decision for one or the another. Both are fickle partners, more interested in self survival rather than long term growth of alliance partners.

Purely on our record for picking partners, I would say that Israel makes much more strategic sense to partner with in the long term.

doubtinggaurav said...


I will take Israel anyday.
Israel works under self interest.
Iran works under idelogical delusion (plus Iran is nearer)

PS Enjoyed you "moozik" post, are more blings and blangs forthcoming :-)

The Greatest Hokie Ever !! said...

[DoubtingGaurav] Thanks for your interests in the "BnB", where can I send a membership form ? :D

Yes, more is in the works, I am working on a blog-post where I will expose all musicians. Then the one and only one Bappi-da would remain !

Sorry [Jaffna] for hijacking the comment section. Back to the discussion on Israel vs Iran. I had blogged this earlier when I had put forth my views on having Vietnam, Burma and Taiwan as our strategic parnter(s). On the same vien, we need to ask who else can partner us. Israel would be a choice. How about Turkey? Turkey has a majority Islamic population yet is fierecely secular.

libertarian said...

dg, greatest hokie, I don't think we need to choose between Israel and Iran. We can balance both and operate on the principle of self-interest only. Also don't see the need to "partner" with someone in the Muslim world - like Turkey. What does this buy us? Let's concentrate on building ourselves up so that people perceive value in partnering with us.

The Greatest Hokie Ever !! said...

[libertarian] While I agree that in the current scenario maybe keeping both Israel and Iran as strategic partners helps us, I am thinking more of the long term. Having Turkey in our circle would help us contain Iran, if and when that situation comes to pass

I agree that we need to seek out "partners who want to partner with us" but unfortunately, there are not a lot of countries who fit that bill right now.

nukh said...

i agree libertarian...if one can learn anything from the cold war era, it should be this - play both sides. and if the time does come to pick one....let them court you and then decide.

libertarian said...

greatest hokie - don't know about making grand plans around Turkey. They can barely hold off their Kurdish population. On countries willing to partner with India, disagree strongly. The US considers India a long-term geopolitical investment with enormous payoff. The Indian establishment is guilty of punching way below its weight (just as Pak always punches way above its weight) and selling the country short.
nukh, agree. "Frightening pragmatism" (as one blogger put it) is the need of the hour.

Iran's current chest-thumping is a direct result of the increased oil revenue. All these oil guys have 5-10 years before the oil party collapses.

The Greatest Hokie Ever !! said...

[libertarian] I agree that India has consistenly sold itself short, I dont agree with the US view(s) though. We might be considered anything but it has resulted in zilch, naada in terms of tangible results.

Simple matters like H-1B Visas and Green cards are held up by the US government for years whereas Pakistan has consistently got the better hand of the bargain. Leave the Pakis, even the Chinese students who want to come here for study/work have it better than us.
Maybe the suggestion of allowing partners to play against each other might work for some time, but one way or the other, we need to create our own 'zone'.

nukh said...

Greatest Hokie, I believe it is the other way round in the matters of immigration. It is the Pakistani and some other Islamic country students who are facing tougher restrictions in obtaining visas etc.
That said, I would like to add that it is not about how many green cards are issued - it is about facilitating India’s transition to a [recognized] civilian nuclear power, it is about granting free trade status, it is about scientific cooperation, it is about investment flows etc, etc..

The Greatest Hokie Ever !! said...

[nukh] Without sounding pompous, I always think that a country's impression is brought out by how well a host country (here US) treats that citizen's people (here India)

The point I raised was about the Chinese students who come here for study and then plan to take a green card. The Pakistani students are a different lot. The some I knew from my time in grad school, they were all the "elite" meaning their parents could very well afford to send them anywhere in the world for education. The point I am trying to make is that for US to recognize India as a "partner" its policies have to first change. For the policies to change, the impressions have to first change.

Americans keep talking about loss of jobs due to IT outsourcing but the loss of jobs to China because of manufacturing is never brought about in the American MSM to that extent.

Without rambling further, I would like to go back to [libertarian]'s original point that this might be a question of our own country selling us short. I would recommend reading "Charlie Wilson's war" to see how well Pakistan has articulated itself and what a shoddy job we have done.

US is not a reliable "partner" in any fashion. They are going to support us as long as they think US companies can make a buck here, not out of genuine interest for us.

libertarian said...

greatest hokie, seems like the Green Card thing is a big deal for you. Been there - know it's not pleasant - and I empathize. But in the grand scheme of things, it's the 1.1 billion people who matter - and as nukh pointed out, civilian nuclear cooperation, scientific cooperation etc. where the action really is.

regarding the Indian govt. selling India short - I certainly did not mean to compare it with the Pak govt. Those guys are mutts. They're record of lobbying is dismal - not the standard we need to emulate by any stretch of the imagination.

nukh said...

greatest hokie,
what do you mean when you speak of "genuine interest"?
"US is not a reliable "partner" in any fashion. They are going to support us as long as they think US companies can make a buck here, not out of genuine interest for us."

Are you implying that India's relations with other countries are all based on "genuine interest"?
Is the american interest in japan genuine?


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