Aviation Week & Space Technology reports in its November 29 issue that U. S. intelligence analysts are concerned about the planned launch from Iran, by early 2005, of an Iranian built satellite on an upgraded version of Tehran's largest ballistic missile, the Shahab-3.This isn't either:
The preparations for and launch of one or more Iranian satellite "is something that needs to be watched closely," a U. S. government missile analyst familiar with Iranian capabilities told AW&ST.
Such an "Iranian Sputnik" would elevate the stature of the Iran in the Middle East.
Tehran's satellite launch plans could also be a "Trojan Horse" to further advance ballistic missile or nuclear warhead related technologies, sources told the magazine. Some of the materials and micro-electronic technologies necessary for Iranian satellite design could also be important for the development of tiny high quality components needed to produce small nuclear weapons, AW&ST reports.
Iranian sources said the Islamic leadership in Teheran assessed that the Saudi kingdom has acquired access to nuclear weapons and technology. The sources said Saudi Arabia signed an agreement in 2003 with Pakistan for the latter to help the Arab kingdom in both the deployment of nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems.
A leading Iranian scientist and member of the nation's nuclear community has reported that Saudi Arabia joined the world's nuclear club. Teheran University Professor Abu Mohammad Asgarkhani said in an address on Nov. 9 that Iran required a nuclear weapon in wake of the acquisition of atomic bombs by neighboring Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.