The launch Monday of Israel’s cutting-edge spy satellite from a site in India, set originally for September 2007, was delayed for months due to pressure on Indian opposition parties by Iran, according to Western sources quoted by the Jerusalem Post.
The attempted sabotage by Iran carried out through its Muslim and Communist political contacts in the Indian government was ultimately unsuccessful.
Nonetheless, it is another indication of the ongoing effort by the Islamic Republic to do what it can to block Israeli and other intelligence agencies from acquiring up-to-date information on its nuclear development and other activities.
The new TECSAR satellite, produced by Israel Aerospace Industries, (IAI) weighs approximately 300 kilograms and can provide clear images of objects on the ground regardless of weather conditions. The satellite can also see through rooftops made of certain materials.
While Iran is doing its best to sabotage intelligence gathering efforts by Israel and other nations, Russia delivered a fifth shipment of nuclear fuel rods to the Islamic Republic’s Bushehr nuclear power plant Monday.
Three more nuclear fuel shipments are expected to arrive from Russia in the coming weeks as well.
Israeli officials continue to emphasize to Western leaders there is evidence that Iran is building a nuclear weapon of mass destruction despite protestations that its activities are geared toward peaceful domestic nuclear power.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has promised repeatedly to “wipe Israel off the map.” Israeli leaders have vowed to eliminate this existential threat to the Jewish State if diplomatic negotiations fail to persuade Iran to end its nuclear development programs.