Iran's secret missile-launching facility revealed

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Tehran (Iran), Mar 14(ANI): Iran's surge towards becoming a nuclear power has taken another stride after satellite images of a new missile-launching facility were revealed.

According to Jane's, the London-based intelligence group, new satellite images show a launch pad 6.5 miles north-east of the existing Semnan site.

Experts believe that the site could ultimately launch Tehran's next-generation Simorgh rocket. he launch pad includes a gantry tower, which is 43 feet wide, approximately 60 feet tall "and has a cliff-side flame bucket nearly as high as the tower itself".

"It appears midway towards completion," The Daily Express quoted a Jane's report, as saying.

The reports also revealed that the launch pad could easily accommodate the 88-foot Simorgh if the gantry were to be extended by 33 feet.

"The development of the Semnan facility and the Simorgh SLV both demonstrate the likelihood of collaboration with North Korea in Iran's missile programme" the report said.

The respected information group also reinforced concerns that Israel is being aided by North Korea.

"The platforms seen on the new gantry tower resemble those seen on the gantry tower at North Korea's new launch pad at Tongchang. A drainage pit 570 feet directly in front of the pad also mirrors one at Pyongyang's new west-coast launch site. Similarly, the first stage of the Simorgh strongly resembles the North Korean Unha-2, with four clustered engines and nearly the same dimensions," the reports said.

"Given these investments in its missile infrastructure, and despite the United States attempting to garner support for further sanctions against Iran for its nuclear programme, Tehran appears determined to continue developing its missile and rocket capabilities in the foreseeable future," the report concluded.

Last month, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had proclaimed that Iran was officially a "nuclear state" after allegedly producing its first batch of uranium enriched to a higher level.

Ahmadinejad reiterated that Iran was pursuing nuclear energy, but had no intention of producing nuclear weapons. (ANI)

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