Iran missile launch into space was 'publicity stunt,' Israeli experts say
Top defense analyst says Iran failed to launch missile into orbit despite its claims to the contrary.
Israeli analysts told Haaretz on Thursday that Iran has failed to launch a missile into orbit despite its claims to the contrary.
Iranian state television reported on Wednesday that the country successfully launched a second rocket into space, following up on the first such launch in February.
Uzi Rubin, who once oversaw the Defense Ministry's missile defense program, told Haaretz that an analysis of the information and photographs available show that the Iranians launched a rocket rather than a missile, and that the projectile did not reach space. "In my view, this is an Iranian publicity stunt whose intention I do not know."
Rubin and others argue it is possible that the launch was part of a test in Iran's developing space program. Israeli experts believe the Iranians have yet to achieve a successful launch. Tehran's first rocket launched in February managed to reach space, but then disintegrated, rendering the mission a complete failure.
The rocket, entitled "Kavoshgar 2" or Explorer 2, made it to the lower reaches of space and returned to earth 40 minutes later on a parachute. It wasn't clear when the launch took place.
Iran has long held the goal of developing a space program, generating unease among world leaders already concerned about its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.