Iran 'launches satellite-carrying rocket'

Saturday, 29 Jul, 2017

Iran claimed Thursday to have tested with "success" as a launcher of the satellite since its first center for launch, reported State television.

Iranian media said Thursday that the military had successfully launched a rocket carrying a satellite into space. The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

YJC.ir, a news organization linked to Iranian state television, broadcast the launch of the rocket, which was mounted on a launch pad carrying pictures of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Earlier in the day, the president went to Iran's central province of Semnan to attend the opening ceremony of the Imam Khomeini Space Center (IKSC), which began its operations by firing off the indigenous Simorgh carrier.

Iran frequently announces technological breakthroughs that are hard to independently verify.

The Trump administration has been highly critical of Iran's ballistic missile tests.

Though its official objective is to launch satellites, the space program allows the Iranians to gain experience in dual technologies that could be used to develop long-range ballistic missiles, and the Simorgh potentially could lead toward the production of an Iranian intercontinental ballistic missile. The State Department says that type of technology is inherently created to be able to carry a nuclear payload.

The U.S. and allies expressed concern with the same technology that can be used to create long-range missiles. From sending people of Iran refused due to too high of a startup cost.

"We would consider that a violation of the UNSCR 2231", Nauert told reporters.

"You would've thought they would've said 'thank you, United States". The site has been designed and built by the experts of the defense ministry. Iran has offered to share its scientific findings and satellite data with other countries.

Simorgh's maiden flight was initially scheduled for the same year, but the project was plagued by years of delays.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert on July 27 said the "provocative act" also violates the "spirit" of Tehran's 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers, according to RFE/RL. But while the language on Iran's nuclear program is precise and extensive, the language involving missiles is ambiguous. The New York Times reports this launch was in response to that vote.