Iran has converted its most powerful ballistic missile into a satellite launch vehicle. The 30-ton rocket could also be a wolf in sheep's clothing for testing longer-range missile strike technologies, Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine reports in its Jan. 29 issue.
The Iranian space launcher has recently been assembled and "will liftoff soon" with an Iranian satellite, according to Alaoddin Boroujerdi, the chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission.
The move toward an independent space launch capacity is likely to ratchet up concern in the U.S. and Europe about Iran's strategic capabilities and intents. Orbiting its own satellite would send a powerful message throughout the Muslim world about the Shiite regime in Tehran.
Nukes, Orbital capabilities. huh. So, in 2050, who will be more 'powerful'? Or perhaps more important on the world stage? Iran? Or Russia? Demographics has it's play here. Anyways, if you are going to write a near future SF book, better think about what a space faring Iran might be like!