CIA Views Russian Concerns Over Iran’s Space Program

Russian experts are persuaded that Iran’s space program is serving to advance development of intercontinental ballistic missiles that could be used against targets throughout the Middle East and Russia, according to a CIA review of open source reporting.

“Over the past year Moscow appears to have become more worried about the security implications of assisting Tehran with the further development of its space capability,” the November 2010 CIA report (pdf) said.

The CIA document was first reported by Bloomberg News (“Russian Scientists Worried Iran Uses Their Know-How for Missiles” by Roxana Tiron and Anthony Capaccio, February 3). A copy was obtained by Secrecy News. See “Russia: Security Concerns About Iran’s Space Program Growing,” CIA Open Source Works, November 16, 2010.

On February 7, Iranian officials displayed four new prototype satellites that they said would be launched in the near future.

No Responses to “CIA Views Russian Concerns Over Iran’s Space Program”

  1. ricky February 7, 2011 at 4:57 PM #

    Why can’t the dirty usa just give up making accusations to every single damn country in the middle-east of trying to obtain weapons?!?

    Its great to see iran making technological advancements, and good for them.

    If any concern, the world should be pointing its nose at the usa for the stock of a gazillion nukes and illegal operations that are carried out by agencies every single damn day. Fair enough if the russians have concerns, but its the usa again exaggerating the story (oh no, no surprise there sherlock).

    Speaking from the UK, and glad to see iran making progress in the world.

  2. Um February 7, 2011 at 5:17 PM #

    You do realize this is a report about Russia’s concerns.

    Though I get your point. You do realize that Iran will be able to hit the UK with missiles long before they get the range to target America.

    I also point out, Russia has way more nukes than tue US

  3. AMERICUH February 7, 2011 at 5:21 PM #

    I don’t think you truly understand what this is about and judging by how you decided to write your little rant it’s fairly clear why.

    Because you did not read the article in full and misunderstand what was being written you have gotten a terrible view of what it actually is for.

    The CIA is basically only investigating what Russians have concern over (ZOMG IT’S IN THE TITLE? NO WAI!). Yes, America has a tendency to stick their noses in everything, but atleast we don’t have a history of wanting to blow every damn thing up for no true reason (queue afghanistan drone attacks, now).

    So next time before you think you’re smarter than you actually are and start ‘popping off at the mouth,’ maybe you’ll read between the lines instead of just a couple of words and automatically coming up with some non-sense.

  4. Doug February 7, 2011 at 5:21 PM #

    No offense Mr. UK, but when that whole area of the world hates the US, it only makes sense for the US to be concerned. The US is not right a lot of the time, but there is no need to hate the US for that. Nothing in this world is perfect. However, there is 0 concern of US using it’s nukes without being nuked first.

    In addition, if Iran is truly just trying to advance their technology without being hostile towards the US or anyone else in the region, there is nothing wrong with that. Only time will tell… Quit hating on the US…

  5. rikhard February 7, 2011 at 5:48 PM #

    maybe you guys should start by ask yourselves why is that that almost everyone on that region hate USA….not US people but US shadow MIC government.

  6. Aaron February 7, 2011 at 5:53 PM #

    “However, there is 0 concern of US using it’s nukes without being nuked first. ”

    i guess tell that to Russia. America is too corrupt this day and age to really tell what they are going to do next. I guess its just lucky that its no longer going to be the dominating superpower shortly.

    there was talks of the US using tactical nukes on Iraq, it was decided no but showing that they are considering it even for a second is pretty scary.

    “but when that whole area of the world hates the US, it only makes sense for the US to be concerned. The US is not right a lot of the time, but there is no need to hate the US for that.” so if i do something “not right” like take over your country and push it into perpetual war then there is no need for you to hate me then?

  7. ricky February 7, 2011 at 5:55 PM #

    See, can’t make a point without getting bitched at by “Team America”.

    If the US is concerned about being hated by the middle-east, then why don’t they STOP DESTROYING the middle-east.

    I also did read the article, i know it is about russia’s concerns, but there is always the secret shit-stirring USG lurking in the shadows of other countries opinions, simply waiting to pounce on something to exaggerate about so they can start yet-another-war… And yes, we all know what the CIA truely is…

  8. Pine February 7, 2011 at 6:14 PM #

    Ricky, you’re on the wrong team sir. Let me remind you that every government is corrupt; even yours! You can’t stop war until you remove religion and greed, which is never going to happen. Perhaps instead of trolling the US, maybe you can get involved and make the world a better place. You know, seeing as how you have all the answers…

  9. jOEbLOW February 7, 2011 at 6:56 PM #


    The UK doesn’t have to worry about an attack from the islamic nations, it is nearnig the point where it IS an islamic nation.

  10. ricky February 7, 2011 at 7:09 PM #

    Yes every government may be corrupt in some way or another, but the US has been the longest running corruption campaign of them all.

    I’m not defending my country’s government either, i simply responded with what my view was. There is no point in immediately telling me i am wrong without logic. Buts thats the way it is, if anyone sticks a finger up an the USG all of a sudden its a “blame it on the middle east” wall is raised by its sheep.

    Their is more opinion in this world, than that of an american.

  11. Pine February 7, 2011 at 8:52 PM #

    I’m not sure about that. As a country, we just have not been around that long. Don’t worry though, I’m just as ignorant as you are about what is really going on. Furthermore; I wouldn’t be so bold as to blanket the opinions of an entire country as you do. I certainly would not bash you just because you live in the UK.

    I’m no fool though. Iran will persue weapons of mass destruction. You want to know how I know this? Because I sure as hell would if I was them.. It’s the only way for a country to gain respect in the international community. Think about it.. This is human nature. You tell me.. Can we trust Iran with these weapons?

  12. Mark Gubrud February 7, 2011 at 10:07 PM #

    Hi Steve,

    The headline that the CIA gave this release was quite a spin on its contents. If you read the latter, you see that it assembles Russian quotes saying that Iran is making progress, that its space launchers can support ballistic missiles, and that Russian “officials” are not particularly concerned about the latter.

    However, Russia has slowed support for Iranian satellite programs, which is taken as an indication of “concern.”

    Well, what is this concern? There is only one actual Russian concern about Iranian space programs cited. It is that “by launching its dual-use satellites, Iran provokes the United States to develop and deploy both spaceborne and ground-based anti-satellite (ASAT) systems, which complicates the ratification of the draft Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force Against Outer Space Objects (PPWT), jointly submitted by Russia and China at the February 2008 International Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.”

    In other words, the Russian concern is about American space weapons and their impact on Russian and Chinese efforts to prevent a space arms race.

    That’s what this CIA release actually says.

    I would venture further that any Russian concern about Iranian ballistic missiles is more likely concern about American and Israeli reactions to them, since Russia does not expect to attack or be attacked by Iran. According to the CIA, “statements from Russian officials and legislators… have consistently focused on Iran’s current limited capability in missile technology while asserting Iran’s benign future intentions or its inability to develop ICBMs.”

  13. EP February 7, 2011 at 11:01 PM #

    Given the history of that region, war has been a constant…from the Holy Roman Empire & the descendants of Genghis Khan in Baghdad until now…many countries, including the US, have been involved in the fight…there is no right way about it…

  14. billy bob February 8, 2011 at 12:41 AM #

    Quite a rant! The US is used as the whipping post, but many are anxious to get in. Re: the rest of the world, I see Muslims killing far more of their brethren in the name of who-ever, than those of us who are trying to make their lives better, IE: treat women as equals, allow them educational opportunities, etc.
    Yes, we’re not perfect, but at least we’re trying, and we’re generous! (to a fault- we give foreign aid in many forms, and it’s interpreted as an attempt to buy friends.)
    Personally, I’m thinking we should stop playing policeman, and let the rest of the world rot for a while.

  15. Yani February 8, 2011 at 1:01 AM #

    While Iran’s government continue to chase technical development to demonstrate modernity, the plight of the people is somewhat different. Over 2 metric tons of Heroin flow into Iran from Afghanistan, hangings occurring at the rate of one per 8 hours, food prices reaching worryingly high levels… these are the concerns of Iranians that I speak to. People living in exile because family members who were part of Iran’s government dared to speak out about injustice in the community.

    There is a disturbing trend that promotes a factious case that Iran can be heralded as a Muslim super-power with influence in the middle east. Yet within Iran there is a growing resentment of the Palestinians as when even an excuse is required for an inability to meet the needs of the population the claim is made ‘we can’t do that because we have given all the cash to the Palestinians’.

    What we are witness to in the world is states that fail because that lie. They lie to their population, within government circles and to the world at large. The more states become embroiled in lies the faster they hit a slippery slope into fascism. No state is immune, not the US nor Israel, Egypt, Korea and not Iran. ‘We can’t feed the population but we can improve our egos by launching satellites. We will be secure if we have a nuclear deterrent.’ Who taught Iran this approach? Oh the Useless States of Armageddon of course!

  16. Dave February 8, 2011 at 9:06 AM #

    Are all of you blInd? In my opinion this has nothing tO dOnwith Russia and it has everything to do with beating the war drum for an attack on Iran. All these articles do is stoke fear and the solution is always bomb Iran. More War. War is money and power and the peoPle behind the scenes rule the world. Not the leftright puppets you see on tv

  17. M February 8, 2011 at 2:25 PM #

    Dave, do you honestly believe an attack on Iran is eminent? If so, that’s been the line for 30+years, and I still don’t think we’ve been to war with Iran even when they’ve had less capability than they do now. The last and only assault was the failed to attempt to pull out the US hostages (the act of taking them, btw, was an act of war committed by Iran and the US was still restrained then as they are now).

    Part of politics is political haggling. If you think the world is all peaches, so be it, but don’t put focus criticism on one country while ignoring the drastic faults on the other 170+.

    As to stoking fear, if Iran wasn’t shipping arms into religious conflicts in Africa, funding the civil war that occurred in Iraq (which when they realize it was hurting Iran, they backed off, and gee whiz, the sectarian violence decreased drastically), sending agents into Afghanistan to do the same, maybe you’d have a point about their peaceful intentoins. But enriching uranium at the levels they have beyond necessary to run a civilian reactor, the *current* regime having never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, they’re playing a fine line of political brinkmanship at the iffy nature of their program, while advancing the same tech that is exactly that of a ballistic missile program.

    Not sure about you, but a space program, combined with massive enrichment, with foreign arms sales, Iran or not, if any country was doing it, would be a concern.

    Hate the US all you want, that’s the popular things these days, and we have our faults, but since we’ve been “involved” in the worlds affairs, there has been fewer lives lost to war despite a burgeoning worldwide population boom.

  18. Nexion February 8, 2011 at 3:21 PM #

    “Yes every government may be corrupt in some way or another, but the US has been the longest running corruption campaign of them all.”

    This nearly made me pee my pants in laughter. We’ve only been around for a couple hundred years and the sun still never sets on the British Empire. Your island has had its filthy hand in not just Afghanistan, but do you so easily forget the Crusades we weren’t even around for which to participate. Spare me your condemnation of the united states with your big brother government in tow. Now we are no angels. Hell, I’d like to see radical changes in our governance, but it isn’t like the world is helping one bit. No, instead YOU all are part of the problem, and I too would like to see you rot a while without us.

    Why don’t I want Iran to have ICBMs… well, lets look at who has em and who wants them. Everyone that has them doesn’t use them. The US did use a hydrogen bomb, but that helped stop WWII which I believe was us backing up Europe. It took far too long for us to get involved and many more died then had to had we gotten in there sooner. Lesson learned for US I’m afraid.

    Now who whats them? One country wants it, and even uses its development thereof, to blackmail the world for aid. These Islamist types are worse. Iran has its government because a people’s imaginary friend said that government and law should be based in Islam (roughly translated meaning “peace”, lmao). So now this Islamic government regularly has it’s people chanting “death to America”, “death to Israel” or perhaps even your country when the mood strikes them.

    How does it feel that their imaginary friend could tell a prominent Mullah to tell their people that a nuclear strike against YOUR country is not only warranted, but the DUTY of EVERY Muslim! You don’t have to like US, for some reason we look after you anyway. I agree we are sometimes smack our own face stupid about how we go about things, but at least the will of our people is in the right place. I don’t wish death to Iran or to the Islamic faith, but rather ask only that they live with us in peace. From what I have been told by friends from Iran this is all they ask for as well. They feel they are held hostage by their government, like so many countries do, and have no intention nor desire to ever see death to America or even Israel. My best discussions to uncover this fact was spent taking my lunches with an Israeli Jew, a Muslim Iranian and my Christian US citizen arse try’n to figure out why the hell any of us should hate each other.

    Our conclusion was governmental response to mutual distrust, and elements within that government that are counter productive to peace. Everyone is to blame, plain and simple. So spare us any ill words for an entire country’s people, but rather focus individually on the errors made by governments and the people who have disappointed those they represent. I know I sure as hell am disappointed with my government, and I know there are few in the UK who could say the same of their own.