Iran defies the U.S. and tries to launch a satellite - and fails

16 January, 2019, 21:59 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Iran to launch two satellites in'coming days

Iran on Tuesday conducted one of at least two satellite launches it plans despite criticism from the United States, but the satellite failed to reach orbit, an official said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that the supposedly "innocent satellite" launched on Tuesday was actually "the first stage of an intercontinental missile" Iran is developing in violation of worldwide agreements. The United States was also concerned that the long-range ballistic technology, which was used to put satellites into orbit, could also be used to launch warheads.

An Iranian bid to launch a satellite has failed, Telecoms Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi said on Tuesday, in a move that was criticised by the United States as a breach of the nuclear deal from which Washington withdrew past year.

Payam and its carrier had gone through successful testing of its first and second stages, the minister said.

He promised that scientists would continue to investigate the technology.

Pompeo said the rocket that Iran used to try to put the satellite into orbit "incorporates technologies that are virtually identical and interchangeable with those used in ballistic missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles". The Payam, which means "message" in Farsi, was an imagery satellite that Iranian officials said would help with farming and other activities.

Iran had said that it plans to send two nonmilitary satellites, Payam and Doosti, into orbit. Jahromi wrote on Twitter that "Doosti is waiting for orbit", without elaborating.


"The Payam satellite was successfully launched this morning with the Basir satellite carrier".

Under the United Nations Security Council resolution that enshrined Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers - which Washington pulled out of last spring - the country is "called upon" to refrain from work on ballistic missiles created to deliver nuclear weapons for up to eight years.

However, the country has said its space vehicle launches and missile tests were not violations, so they should be able to carry on developing them. Given the facility's launching corridor, the satellite likely fell in the Indian Ocean.

"Iran is lying now that it launched an innocent satellite to space", Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after the abortive launch.

The country launched its first domestically built satellite, the OMID (Hope) research and telecoms satellite, in 2009 on the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

The 40-year anniversary of the Islamic Revolution falls in February this year.

Over the past decade, Iran has sent several short-lived satellites into orbit and in 2013 launched a monkey into space.

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