Simorgh has been deemed a technological breakthrough by some Western
analysts. They said Simorgh could be transformed into an intercontinental
ballistic missile that could contain a nuclear warhead.
Jane's, citing satellite images taken on Feb. 6, 2010, said the Iranian
facility could be used for Teheran's new Simorgh space-launch vehicle.
Simorgh, believed to be a liquid-fuel rocket, was unveiled in February.
"Although the tower is not yet tall enough to facilitate vertical
assembly of the 27-meter Simorgh, the launch pad could easily accommodate
Iran's new rocket if the gantry were to be extended by an additional 10
meters," Jane's said.
Jane's said the development of the Semnan facility and Simorgh reflect
North Korean assistance to Teheran's missile program. The platforms were
said to resemble those at North Korea's new launch pad at Tongchang.
"Similarly, the first stage of the Simorgh strongly resembles the North
Korean Unha-2, with four clustered engines and nearly the same dimensions,"
Another Iranian missile facility was detected 2.5 kilometers southwest
of Semnan. Jane's said Iranian authorities have deployed heavy security
around the second site, still in the early stages of construction.
"IHS Jane’s concludes that, given these investments in its missile
infrastructure, and despite the United States attempting to garner support
for further sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program, Teheran appears
determined to continue developing its missile and rocket capabilities in the
foreseeable future," Jane's said.