Iran says it will launch three satellites

Head of Iranian Space Agency says Iran will launch three satellites into orbit by the end of this year.

Ben Ariel ,

Safir satellite-carrier rocket for carrying Iran's Omid Satellite
Safir satellite-carrier rocket for carrying Iran's Omid Satellite

Morteza Barari, head of the Iranian Space Agency, said on Sunday that Iran will launch three satellites into orbit by the end of this year, Xinhua reported.

The three satellites are Nahid 1 telecommunication satellite, Zafar and Pars 1 sensing satellites, according to Barari.

"Zafar and Pars 1 satellites enjoy the resolutions of 22.5m and 15m respectively," he said.

"We are trying to build a sensing satellite with the resolution of 1m by 2025," added Barari.

Earlier this year, Iran twice attempted to launch a satellite into space but failed when the satellite failed to reach orbit.

The launches came despite US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s warning to Iran 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.

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.

Reports last week indicated that Iran appears to be preparing another satellite launch.

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

Its ballistic missile program has been a cause for concern for the US and was one of the reasons cited by President Donald Trump when he withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal in May of last year.

Last month, Iran successfully test-fired a Shehab-3 medium-range ballistic missile.

The Islamic Republic denies its tests violate Resolution 2231. Its President Hassan 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.