Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Iran Says It Has Successfully Launched an Imaging Satellite Into Orbit Amid Tensions With the West
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 7 months ago on
September 27, 2023

Share

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iran claimed on Wednesday that it successfully launched an imaging satellite into space, a move that could further ratchet up tensions with Western nations that fear its space technology could be used to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran’s Communication Minister Isa Zarepour said the Noor-3 satellite had been put in an orbit 450 kilometers (280 miles) above the Earth’s surface, the state-run IRNA news agency reported. It was not clear when exactly the launch took place.

There was no immediate acknowledgment from Western officials of the launch or of the satellite being put into orbit. The U.S. military did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Iran has had a series of failed launches in recent years.

The most recent launch was carried out by Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, which has had more success. Gen. Hossein Salami, the top commander of the Guard, told state TV that the launch had been a “victory” and that the satellite will collect data and images.

Authorities released footage of a rocket taking off from a mobile launcher without saying where the launch occurred. Details in the video corresponded with a Guard base near Shahroud, some 330 kilometers (205 miles) northeast of the capital, Tehran. The base is in Semnan province, which hosts the Imam Khomeini Spaceport from which Iran’s civilian space program operates.

The Guard operates its own space program and military infrastructure parallel to Iran’s regular armed forces and answers only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

It launched its first satellite into space in April 2020. But the head of the U.S. Space Command later dismissed it as a “tumbling webcam in space” that would not provide vital intelligence. Western sanctions bar Iran from importing advanced spying technology.

US Says Launch Violates Sanctions

The United States has alleged that Iran’s satellite launches defy a U.N. Security Council resolution and has called on Tehran to undertake no activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

The U.S. intelligence community’s 2022 threat assessment claims the development of satellite launch vehicles “shortens the timeline” for Iran to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile because it uses similar technology.

Iran has always denied seeking nuclear weapons, and says its space program, like its nuclear activities, is for purely civilian purposes. U.S. intelligence agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency say Iran abandoned an organized military nuclear program in 2003.

Over the past decade, Iran has sent several short-lived satellites into orbit and in 2013 launched a monkey into space. The program has seen recent troubles, however. There have been five failed launches in a row for the Simorgh program, another satellite-carrying rocket.

A fire at the Imam Khomeini Spaceport in February 2019 killed three researchers, authorities said at the time. A launchpad rocket explosion later that year drew the attention of then-President Donald Trump, who taunted Iran with a tweet showing what appeared to be a U.S. surveillance photo of the site.

Tensions are already high with Western nations over Iran’s nuclear program, which has steadily advanced since Trump five years ago withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers and restored crippling sanctions on Iran.

Efforts to revive the agreement reached an impasse more than a year ago. Since then, the IAEA has said Iran has enough uranium enriched to near-weapons grade levels to build “several” nuclear weapons if it chooses to do so. Iran is also building a new underground nuclear facility that would likely be impervious to U.S. or Israeli airstrikes. Both countries have said they would take military action if necessary to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

Iran has expressed willingness to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, but says the U.S. should first ease the sanctions.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Boeing’s Financial Woes Continue, While Families of Crash Victims Urge US to Prosecute

DON'T MISS

Police Tangle With Students in Texas and California as Wave of Campus Protest Against Gaza War Grows

DON'T MISS

Meet the Valley Republican Predicting a November Win Over Esmeralda Soria

DON'T MISS

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

DON'T MISS

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

DON'T MISS

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

DON'T MISS

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

DON'T MISS

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

DON'T MISS

Fong Won’t Debate Boudreaux, but We Get Hot Topic Answers Anyway

DON'T MISS

Legislation Pandering to Tribal Casinos Is a Bad Bet for Fresno Cardroom Employees

UP NEXT

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

UP NEXT

Tent Compound Rises in Southern Gaza as Israel Prepares for Rafah Offensive

UP NEXT

A Far-Right German EU Lawmaker’s Aide Is Arrested on Suspicion of Spying for China

UP NEXT

Israel’s Military Intelligence Chief Resigns Over Failure to Prevent Hamas Attack on Oct. 7

UP NEXT

Aid Approval Brings Ukraine Closer to Replenishing Troops Struggling to Hold Front Lines

UP NEXT

The US is Expected to Block Aid to an Israeli Military Unit. What is Leahy Law That It Would Cite?

UP NEXT

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

UP NEXT

Iran Fires at Suspected Israeli Drones Near Isfahan Air Base, Nuclear Facility

UP NEXT

US Vetoes Full United Nations Membership for Palestine

UP NEXT

US and UK Issue New Sanctions on Iran in Response to Tehran’s Weekend Attack on Israel

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

4 hours ago

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

4 hours ago

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

6 hours ago

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

Local Education /

7 hours ago

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

8 hours ago

Fong Won’t Debate Boudreaux, but We Get Hot Topic Answers Anyway

8 hours ago

Legislation Pandering to Tribal Casinos Is a Bad Bet for Fresno Cardroom Employees

9 hours ago

About 1 in 4 US Adults Over 50 Say They Expect to Never Retire, an AARP Study Finds

9 hours ago

Biden Signs a $95 Billion War Aid Measure With Assistance for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

9 hours ago

Ancestry Website to Catalogue Names of Japanese Americans Incarcerated During World War II

10 hours ago

Boeing’s Financial Woes Continue, While Families of Crash Victims Urge US to Prosecute

Boeing said Wednesday that it lost $355 million on falling revenue in the first quarter, another sign of the crisis gripping the aircraft ma...

3 hours ago

3 hours ago

Boeing’s Financial Woes Continue, While Families of Crash Victims Urge US to Prosecute

3 hours ago

Police Tangle With Students in Texas and California as Wave of Campus Protest Against Gaza War Grows

CA District 27 Assembly candidate Joanna Garcia Rose
3 hours ago

Meet the Valley Republican Predicting a November Win Over Esmeralda Soria

4 hours ago

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

4 hours ago

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

6 hours ago

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

Local Education /
7 hours ago

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

8 hours ago

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend