Iran Military Advancements/News - Page 14

August 28th, 2015  
Iran, Russia Sign Deal to Build Satellite Observation Systems

Iran, Russia Sign Deal to Build Satellite Observation Systems
Tehran and Moscow have signed a cooperation agreement to build Iran's own remote-sensing satellite systems, a report said.
Two Russian space companies inked an agreement with an Iranian corporation on Tuesday to create Iran’s own satellite observation system, Sputnik News reported on August 25.

Remote-sensing systems are used to gather information about the Earth's surface, atmosphere and oceans.

Russian company NPK BARL will be in charge of building the system’s ground infrastructure, while another Russian company, VNIIEM, will take care of building and launching the satellites. Iran’s Bonyan Danesh Shargh will be the operating company.

“The pre-contractual arrangement covers the development of an earth remote-sensing system based on an upgraded version of the Kanopus-V1 (Canopus-B) observation satellite,” Russia’s VNIIEM Corporation CEO Leonid Makridenko said.

"The launch on a Russian Soyuz carrier rocket is tentatively scheduled for 2018," he added.

According to the report, the agreement was signed in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Rogozin and Roscosmos General Director Igor Komarov.

Iran has in recent years made great headways in manufacturing satellites thanks to the efforts made by its local scientists.

The country successfully launched its first indigenous data-processing satellite, Omid (hope), into orbit back in 2009.

As part of a comprehensive plan to develop its space program, Iran also successfully launched its second satellite, dubbed Rassad (observation), into the earth's orbit in June 2011. Rassad's mission was to take images of the earth and transmit them along with telemetry information to ground stations.

The country launched its domestically-built Navid-e Elm-o Sanat (harbinger of science and industry) satellite into orbit in February 2012.

In January 2013, Iran sent a monkey into space aboard an indigenous bio-capsule code-named Pishgam (pioneer).

And later in December that year, the country's scientists could successfully send a monkey, called ‘Fargam’ (auspicious), into space aboard Pajoheshan (research) indigenous rocket and return the live simian back to earth safely.

- See more at: Iran, Russia Sign Deal to Build Satellite Observation Systems
August 29th, 2015  
Iran Unveils upgraded model of the Keyhan (Cosmos) radar

A number of Iran’s homegrown air defense systems, including upgraded radars and electronic warfare equipment, were unveiled on Saturday.

Commander of Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili opened an exhibition of the latest domestically-made air defense equipment in Tehran.

One of the unveiled products was the upgraded model of the Keyhan (Cosmos) radar. According to the commander, this new version is a fully mobile radar system with high resolution.

Keyhan is a long-range radar that uses mixed frequencies to identify small flying objects, and is suitable for detecting large number of aerial targets in the electronic warfare.

Elsewhere in the exhibition, a variety of ground-based radar jamming systems were unveiled.

Brigadier General Esmaili also unveiled a domestically-made IFF (Identification, Friend or Foe) system. He said the system can distinguish friendly forces from the enemy by detecting 100 targets simultaneously.

A number of other Iranian radars, including Bina, Nazir and Talash were also put on display in the exhibition.

Tehran has repeatedly stated that its military might is defensive in nature and poses no threat to other countries.

September 4th, 2015  
Iran’s majles will have final say on nuclear deal

'I think the drama will be bigger in my country than in yours,' Iran's speaker of majles (parliament) says.

Lawmakers’ approval of the deal, which would remove economic sanctions on Iran in return for restrictions on its nuclear program, isn’t assured in either country, though President Obama is expected to win Senate backing after securing the necessary votes on Wednesday. In Iran, some parliamentarians have also demanded a vote, a position apparently supported by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei earlier Thursday.

“It’s the representatives of the people who should decide,” Khamenei told Iran’s Assembly of Experts in Tehran, according to comments posted on his website. “I have no advice for parliament as to how they should assess it or whether they should approve or reject it.”

Khamenei has told President Hassan Rouhani that excluding parliament from the legal approval process “was not expedient,” according to his website. So far, Iranian government officials have said they plan to leave the decision to the Supreme National Security Council, which would then require Khamenei’s final approval.

Iran’s lawmakers will vote on the deal after its special committee completes its review in a few weeks, Larijani said. The likely outcome is unclear, he said, though he personally supports the agreement because it lifts sanctions while still allowing Iran to conduct limited uranium enrichment.

The provision for sanctions to be reimposed in the future is one of the “major and serious faults” that some Iranians have found with the agreement, Larijani said.

“That’s why I said the U.S. continued to play the role of bully even when we were negotiating,” he said. “But as I said, overall it was a good deal because Iran also achieved some of its goals.”

Khamenei said earlier there would be “no deal” if the agreement does not result in the complete lifting of sanctions. If sanctions are only temporarily lifted, Iran will in turn only suspend its nuclear activities rather than carry out the “fundamental measures” outlined in the deal, Khamenei said.
September 9th, 2015  
I kind of think there is a little bit of bet hedging going on there.

With regards to the sanctions I have never supported them as I honestly do not care whether Iran wants a bomb or not and as long as there are nuclear arsenals in the world then any country has the right to build them, it is absurd/hypocritical to be sitting on the largest nuclear stockpile in the world saying that no one else should have them.

But the deal says the sanctions are to be removed in response to certain Iranian actions then I guess if Iran does not adhere to the conditions then surely it makes sense that the sanctions are reapplied.
September 10th, 2015  
Russia said to get Iran's clearance for Syria-bound flights

MOSCOW (AP) — Iran has granted permission for Russian planes to fly over its territory en route to Syria, Russian news agencies said Wednesday, a bypass needed after Bulgaria refused overflights amid signs of a Russian military buildup in Syria that has concerned the U.S. and NATO.

The news agencies quoted Maxim Suslov, spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Tehran, as saying it has received Iranian permission for Syria-bound flights. After Bulgaria rejected Moscow's overflight request for Sept. 1-24, a path via Iran and Iraq appeared to be the only one left, as Russia apparently sought to avoid flying over Turkey, which in 2012 grounded a Syria-bound plane carrying radar parts from Moscow.

The controversy over the Russian flights comes amid signs of increased Russian military presence in Syria. Moscow, which has backed Syrian President Bashar Assad throughout the nation's 4˝-year civil war, said its military experts are in the country to train its military to use Russian weapons.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused the West of creating "strange hysteria" over Russian activities in Syria, saying that Moscow has been openly supplying weapons and sending military specialists there for a long time.

"Russia has never made a secret of its military-technical cooperation with Syria," she said, adding she could "confirm and repeat once again that Russian military specialists are in Syria to help them master the weapons being supplied."

President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials have sought to cast arms supplies to Assad's regime as part of international efforts to combat the Islamic State group and other militant organizations in Syria.

Putin hasn't ruled out a bigger role. Asked Friday if Russia could deploy its troops to Syria to help fight IS, he said "we are looking at various options."

By playing with the idea of joining the U.S.-led coalition fighting IS, Putin may hope to reset ties with the West, which have been shattered by the Ukrainian crisis, and also protect Moscow's influence in Syria, where it has a navy base. But the U.S. and its allies have seen Assad as the cause of the Syrian crisis, and Washington has warned Moscow against beefing up its presence.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday for a second time in five days. U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said Kerry "reiterated our concern about these reports of Russia military buildup," adding if they are true, it could lead "lead to greater violence and even more instability" in Syria.

Indicating a continuing rift, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Lavrov on the call emphasized Syrian government troops' role in confronting extremist groups and the need to take consolidated action.

On Wednesday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also said the alliance is concerned about reports about Russia's increased military presence in Syria. He didn't offer details.

A U.S. defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to publicly discuss the issue, said the U.S. has seen the Russians fly a variety of military assets into the airfield south of the Syrian city of Latakia, including troops capable of protecting Russian forces there and modular housing units. He said it indicated that the Russians are preparing for some sort of air operations. The official said he was unaware of any evidence that Russian forces have conducted any offensive military operations in Syria.

Another U.S. official briefed on the latest intelligence declined to confirm or deny whether Russian troops have participated in military operations in Syria. However, he said, U.S. intelligence agencies have assessed that Russia's deployment of military personnel and weapons to Syria reflect growing concern about Assad's ability to weather opposition gains — and it suggests that Moscow may be willing to intervene directly on Assad's behalf.

Russia's military involvement raises a number of concerns, the U.S. official said, especially because it does not appear to be coordinated with the other countries operating in the area. It is not clear what Russia intends to actually do, he said.

One Lebanese politician said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue that some Russian forces already have taken part in some small-scale operations in Syria, possibly paving way for broader military action against IS, including airstrikes, in the future. He provided no details, and other Lebanese politicians contested the claim, saying the Russians haven't joined the fray yet.

Another Lebanese politician familiar with the issue, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't in a position to publicly discuss the subject, said there are Russian experts and, possibly, pilots, in Syria, but no full-fledged fighting force yet.

"There are experts and there are also crews for advanced equipment," he said. "They have no fighting forces on the ground."

"Russia is a partner in the war," the politician added. "Russia from the beginning told several officials, including Lebanese, that defending Damascus is like defending Moscow. It will do what is needed."

Hisham Jaber, a retired Lebanese army general familiar with the Syrian military, also said Russian military experts have been in Syria for a long time.

"Every time Syria gets new weapons, Russian experts come to train them (Syrians) on these weapons," Jaber said. "Because of current situation in Syria, these experts need protection and special forces are in Syria to protect advanced weapons and to protect the Russian experts who train Syrians. There are plans to build a military air base in the coastal town of Jable."

Jaber said the Syrian coast is a "red line for the regime and the Russians," and it's threatened now after the fall of the northwestern town of Jisr al-Shughour earlier this year into the hands of al-Qaida fighters and their allies. Over the past weeks, militants have shelled the coastal city of Latakia. Jisr al-Shughour is only 50 kilometers (30 miles) away.

"The Russians will not allow the fall of the Syrian coast because of the naval base and the planned air base," Jaber said.

"Until this moment, there are no Russian forces fighting on the ground," he added. "There are experts everywhere, who sometimes give advice in operations rooms to Syrian forces."

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov criticized Washington for refusing to cooperate with the Syrian government in the fight against the IS.

"The basis for action of the U.S.-led anti-IS coalition is flawed, because it should at the very least involve cooperation with the countries on whose turf this battle is being fought," he said, according to Russian news agencies. "When our American colleagues manage to understand that there are global problems that can't be solved without Russia, we will be able to cooperate."
September 22nd, 2015  
New images of Fateh rifle

October 5th, 2015  
IRGC Navy shows ''Zolfaqar'' submersible torpedo boat for the first time

IRGC Navy showed its ''Zolfaqar'' submersible torpedo boat for the fist time in an exhibition at ''Khalij fars martyrs'' artificial lake in Tehran.

This vessel has a length of 17 meters, width of 3.3 meters, height of 3.5 meters and weight of 22 tonnes.

It has a speed of 40 knots(70 km) and is equipped with 324mm torpedoes.

Zolfaqar is a cross between a speed boat and a submarine.

October 6th, 2015  
Syrian rebels call for regional alliance against Russia and Iran

More than 40 Syrian insurgent groups including the powerful Islamist faction Ahrar al-Sham have called on regional states to forge an alliance against Russia and Iran in Syria, accusing Moscow of occupying the country and targeting civilians.

The insurgents, including rebel groups under the umbrella of the Free Syria Army, said such regional cooperation was needed to counter "the Russian-Iranian alliance occupying Syria".

Last week Russian jets based in western Syria launched air strikes against targets Moscow has identified as bases of the hardline Islamic State group, but which President Bashar al-Assad's opponents say disproportionately hit rival, foreign-backed insurgents.

The joint rebel statement criticized what it described as the "Russian military aggression in Syria and the blatant occupation of the country" as well as the targeting of civilians with air strikes in the Homs countryside in western Syria.

"Civilians have been directly targeted in a manner that reminds us of the scorched earth policy pursued by Russia in its past wars," the statement said, without specifying.

The statement, sent to Reuters by Ahrar al-Sham, did not name which regional states it was addressing but Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have backed the insurgency against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The 41 groups which signed the statement did not include Islamic State or al Qaeda's Syria wing Nusra Front, which is in an insurgent coalition with Ahrar al-Sham that captured most of Idlib province in the northwest.

Insurgents have renewed calls for their Arab backers to supply them with more powerful weapons such as anti-aircraft systems in light of the Russian intervention in the war but Monday's statement appeared to be the most concerted rebel call for action against Russia's move.

Dozens of Islamist Saudi Arabian clerics, not affiliated with the government, earlier called on Arab and Muslim countries to "give all moral, material, political and military" support to what they term a jihad, or holy war, against Syria's government and its Iranian and Russian backers.
October 6th, 2015  
Assad allies, including Iranians, prepare ground attack in Syria: sources

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad answers questions during an interview with al-Manar's

Hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria in the last 10 days and will soon join government forces and their Lebanese Hezbollah allies in a major ground offensive backed by Russian air strikes, two Lebanese sources told Reuters.

"The (Russian) air strikes will in the near future be accompanied by ground advances by the Syrian army and its allies," said one of the sources familiar with political and military developments in the conflict.

"It is possible that the coming land operations will be focused in the Idlib and Hama countryside," the source added.

The two sources said the operation would be aimed at recapturing territory lost by President Bashar al-Assad's government to rebels.

It points to an emerging military alliance between Russia and Assad's other main allies - Iran and Hezbollah - focused on recapturing areas of northwestern Syria that were seized by insurgents in rapid advances earlier this year.

"The vanguard of Iranian ground forces began arriving in Syria: soldiers and officers specifically to participate in this battle. They are not advisors ... we mean hundreds with equipment and weapons. They will be followed by more," the second source said. Iraqis would also take part in the operation, the source said.

Thus far, direct Iranian military support for Assad has come mostly in the form of military advisors. Iran has also mobilized Shi'ite militia fighters, including Iraqis and some Afghans, to fight alongside Syrian government forces.

Lebanon's Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran, has been fighting alongside the Syrian army since early in the conflict.

The Russian air force began air strikes in Syria on Wednesday, targeting areas near the cities of Homs and Hama in the west of the country, where Assad's forces are fighting an array of insurgent groups, though not Islamic State, which is based mostly in the north and east.

An alliance of insurgent groups including the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and powerful Ahrar al-Sham made rapid gains in Idlib province earlier this year, completely expelling the government from the area bordering Turkey.
October 6th, 2015  
Iran troops to join Syria war, Russia bombs group trained by CIA

Hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria to join a major ground offensive in support of President Bashar al-Assad's government, Lebanese sources said on Thursday, a sign the civil war is turning still more regional and global in scope.

Russian warplanes, in a second day of strikes, bombed a camp run by rebels trained by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, the group's commander said, putting Moscow and Washington on opposing sides in a Middle East conflict for the first time since the Cold War.

Senior U.S. and Russian officials spoke for just over an hour by secure video conference on Thursday, focusing on ways to keep air crews safe, the Pentagon said, as the two militaries carry out parallel campaigns with competing objectives.

"We made crystal clear that, at a minimum, the priority here should be the safe operation of the air crews over Syria," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said.

Two Lebanese sources told Reuters hundreds of Iranian troops had reached Syria in the past 10 days with weapons to mount a major ground offensive. They would also be backed by Assad's Lebanese Hezbollah allies and by Shi'ite militia fighters from Iraq, while Russia would provide air support.

"The vanguard of Iranian ground forces began arriving in Syria -soldiers and officers specifically to participate in this battle. They are not advisers ... we mean hundreds with equipment and weapons. They will be followed by more," one of the sources said.

So far, direct Iranian military support for Assad has come mostly in the form of military advisers. Iran has also mobilized Shi'ite militia fighters, including Iraqis and some Afghans, to fight alongside Syrian government forces.

Moscow said it had hit Islamic State positions, but the areas it struck near the cities of Hama and Homs are mostly held by a rival insurgent alliance, which unlike Islamic State is supported by U.S. allies including Arab states and Turkey.

Hassan Haj Ali, head of the Liwa Suqour al-Jabal rebel group that is part of the Free Syrian Army, told Reuters one of the targets was his group's base in Idlib province, struck by about 20 missiles in two separate raids. His fighters had been trained by the CIA in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, part of a program Washington says is aimed at supporting groups that oppose both Islamic State and Assad.

"Russia is challenging everyone and saying there is no alternative to Bashar," Haj Ali said. He said the Russian jets had been identified by members of his group who once served as Syrian air force pilots.

The group is one of at least three foreign-backed FSA rebel factions to say they had been hit by the Russians in the last two days.

At the United Nations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference Moscow was targeting Islamic State. He did not specifically deny that Russian planes had attacked Free Syrian Army facilities but said Russia did not view it as a terrorist group and viewed it as part of a political solution in Syria.

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