Rouhani: New satellite launch in a few months

Following failed attempt to launch satellite, Iranian president says the next one is coming.

Elad Benari,

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani
Reuters

Iran will be ready for a new satellite launch in a few months' time, President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

His comments came after Iran’s failed attempt earlier this week to launch a satellite. Iran’s Telecommunications Minister, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, said on Tuesday morning that the Islamic Republic launched a satellite into space but that it failed to reach orbit.

The Minister explained that the rocket carrying the satellite failed to reach the “necessary speed” required to go into orbit, but promised that scientists would continue their work on the technology.

Rouhani was quoted by state media as saying, however, that Iran had "achieved great success in building satellites and launching them. That means we are on the right track.”

"The remaining problems are minor, will be resolved in a few months, and we will soon be ready for a new launch," he added, according to Reuters.

Tuesday’s launch came despite US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s warning to Iran earlier this month to cease its efforts to develop ballistic missiles. Pompeo demanded that Iran drop its plans for a space launch, saying such actions would defy UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

UN Security Council resolution 2231, which the US says Iran violates with its ballistic missile tests, enshrined Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

The resolution says Iran is “called upon” to refrain for up to eight years from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons.

Iran, however, denies its ballistic missile tests violate this resolution. Rouhani has stressed in the past that Iran will continue to produce missiles for its defense and does not consider that a violation of international agreements.

Pompeo on Tuesday criticized Iran for going through with the satellite launch despite his warnings.

“In defiance of the international community & UNSCR 2231, Iran’s regime fired off a space launch vehicle today. The launch yet again shows that Iran is pursuing enhanced missile capabilities that threaten Europe and the Middle East,” tweeted Pompeo.




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