Iran admits explosion in satellite launching site

Spokesman for Iranian government confirms explosion in the country's satellite launching site, says it was result of technical failure.

Elad Benari ,

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

A spokesman for the Iranian government on Monday confirmed that an explosion occurred in Iran's satellite launching site in Semnan province.

"The explosion was in the launcher and (at that time) the satellite had not been transferred to the launching site," the spokesman, Ali Rabiee, was quoted as having said by the Xinhua news agency.

The problem happened due to a "technical failure," he said, adding that such problems are common in other testing sites in different parts of the world.

He ruled out any sabotage of Iran's space projects, saying that according to all the Iranian experts, the technical failure was only the cause of explosion.

US President Donald Trump on Friday commented on the explosion at the Iranian site, saying that the United States was not involved with the failed Iranian rocket launch.

“The United States of America was not involved in the catastrophic accident during final launch preparations for the Safir SLV Launch at Semnan Launch Site One in Iran,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

“I wish Iran best wishes and good luck in determining what happened at Site One,” he added.

The tweet included a satellite image of Thursday’s failed launch.

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, which calls on Iran to refrain for up to eight years from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons.

Thursday’s failed launch attempt came days after the head of the Iranian Space Agency said that Iran will launch three satellites into orbit by the end of this year.