Iranian missile display in Tehran
Iranian missile display in Tehran Reuters

A top Iranian official claimed on Thursday that Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard last week launched a solid-fuel satellite carrier rocket into space, The Associated Press reported.

Gen. Amirali Hajizadeh, chief of the Guard’s aerospace unit, told the IRNA news agency the test was successful. He said it marked the first time Iran used a solid-fuel rocket rather than a liquid-fuel one. He said Iran will produce lighter rocket engines in further space projects.

According to the general, the satellite carrier was made of a composite material instead of metal — something he claimed was “cost-efficient.”

Iran claimed last month it had successfully launched three research satellites into space. According to Ahmad Hosseini, a Defense Ministry spokesman, the rocket used was a Simorgh.

A day later, however, Iran acknowledged that the space launch failed to put its three payloads into orbit after the rocket was unable to reach the required speed.

Iran’s ballistic missile tests and satellite launches are a cause of concern for the West and particularly the US which says that Iran’s ballistic missile tests are a violation of UN Security Council resolution 2231.

The resolution, which enshrined the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, says Iran is “called upon” to refrain for up to eight years from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons.

Iran denies its ballistic missiles violate this UN resolution.

Days before last month’s failed launch, the Iran Revolutionary Guards’ Aerospace Force fired ballistic missiles during the Great Prophet 17 war games held in the Gulf.