Mark Wade's Encyclopedia Astronautica claims that Emamshahr [Latitude: 36°25' N. Longitude: 55°01' E] is the Iranian military testing range that has been used for flight tests of the Shahab 3 IRBM since 1998. A May 1991 report claimed that US satellites had observed the launch of a Scud-C missile from a mobile launcher near Qom. The missile was said to have flown 500 km before impacting south of Shahroud [Emamshahr] in the Salt Desert [Dasht-e Kavir].
An evaluation of Ikonos imagery from Space Imaging reveals absolutely nothing in this area that would indicate missile launch activity. While one cannot exclude the possibility, indeed the probability, that the Shehab missiles are being launched from a TEL at an unprepared site, there is no indication of such activity at this location.
The Central Elburz mountain range is 250 miles (400 km) long. Tehran lies to the south of the range. East of the longitude of Tehran, it is some 75 miles (120 km) wide. Located among the longitudinal valleys of the range are the towns of Deylaman, Razan, Kojur, and Namar located on the Caspian side and Emamshahr (formerly Shahrud), Lar, Damavand, and Firuzkuh on the southern side. Apart from the main line of the trans-Iranian railroad, which links Tehran with Bandar-e Torkeman via the Gaduk Pass, there are several asphalted roads across parts of the Elburz. One runs between Emamshahr and Gorgan (via the Kotal-e Zardaneh Pass).
The town of Emamshahr, [36°25' N. 54°59'E] with an estimated population of 116,000 as of 2004, is also known as Shahrood, Shâhrûd, Shahrud, Emamshahr, Emâmshahr, Emamrud, Emâmrûd, and Emamrud. It is situated about 258 miles East of Teheran, on at an altitude of 4,460 feet. From the north it is surrounded by the Elburz Mountains, and from the south by the Salty Desert. As of 1910 it had a population of about 10,000, post and telegraph offices, and a transit trade between western Khorasan and Astarabad. Although capital of the Shahrud-Bostam province of Persia, it was not the residence of the governor, who prefered the more healthy Bostam [Bastam], a small city with fine gardens and a mosque of the 14th century, lying 3 miles to the north-east. More recently it has replaced the historic town of Bastam.
|Satellite Imagery of the Testing and Support Area
|Click on the small image to view a larger version|
|Mark Wade's Encyclopedia Astronautica||Overview|
|Reported Launch Site|
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