Iranian launch-site for testing missiles, experts believe

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A newly constructed rocket-launch site near Tehran is likely to be used for testing ballistic missiles.

Satellite images of the site were published this week in IHS Jane’s Military and Security Assessments.

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Analyses of the images, which point to missile launching, come weeks after Iran said it would use the new launch site to launch satellites as part of its space program.

The new launch site, located near the town of Shahrud, about 60 miles northeast of Tehran, is close to an existing Iranian space center and does not have storage facilities for liquid rocket fuel used in Iran’s space program, making analysts believe that it will be  used to test ballistic missiles that use solid fuel, according to The Telegraph.

Western countries worry that the long-range ballistic technology used to shoot Iranian satellites into space could be used to carry nuclear warheads.

Newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said earlier this week that he is ready to enter direct negotiations with the United States over his country’s nuclear program, saying that his country is “very seriously determined to solve the nuclear issue.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called Rouhani “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” and said that the talks are a ploy to allow Iran to continue enriching uranium.