Iran says it's sent a domestically-built satellite into orbit. It's a troubling development, if true. Much of the gear and the know-how behind a space launch can also be used for ballistic missiles.
That's the bad news. The good news is that Tehran has a long, colorful history of trying to BS the world about their military capabilities.
The Omid ("hope") satellite was allegedly sent into space on top of a two-stage, 72-foot-long, 26-ton Safir ("messenger") rocket, which uses "a modified version of Iran's most advanced ballistic missile system, the Shahab-3, as its first stage," the Arms Control Association believes. "A liquid-fueled second stage and possibly a small solid-fueled third stage" may follow, the New York Times notes.
Getting such a launcher right is key to Iran's military. The Shahab-3 has a reported maximimum range of 1200 miles. To go any further than that require
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