Iran Claims Successful Satellite Launch

Imam Khomeini Spaceport (Credit: Tasnim News Agency)

Iran claims it successfully launched a military satellite into orbit. The Associated Pres reports:

There was no immediate independent confirmation of the launch of the satellite, which the [Revolutionary] Guard called “Noor,” or light. The U.S. State Department and the Pentagon, which contend that such launches advance Iran’s ballistic missile program, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On its official website, the Guard said the satellite successfully reached an orbit of 425 kilometers (264 miles) above the Earth’s surface. The Guard called it the first military satellite ever launched by Tehran.

The two-stage satellite launch took off from Iran’s Central Desert, the Guard said, without elaborating or saying when exactly the launch took place. The paramilitary force said it used a Ghased, or “Messenger,” satellite carrier to put the device into space, a previously unheard-of system.

For more information about Iran’s space and counterspace programs, see this excerpt from a recent report issued by the Secure World Foundation.