Both the Zafar satellite and the Simorgh launch vehicle are ready for launch at the Khomeini spaceport in the northern province of Semnan, said Ahmad Hosseini, the minister of defense for the Iranian space program in Tehran, on Friday.
“The start will be carried out at the first opportunity if all the necessary conditions are in place,” said Hosseini.
According to him, it is a research mission.
On Monday, Iran’s Minister of Information and Communication, Mohammed-Javad Asari-Jahromi, announced that the Zafar satellite might be launched into space by Friday, which did not happen.
The Iran launched its space program exactly twelve years ago, in February 2008, with the launch of its first satellite. Two years later, the Islamic Republic sent mice, turtles and worms into space. They were followed in 2013 by two monkeys, which according to Iranian information returned to Earth alive.
A space launch in Iran failed in January last year. In August, an explosion occurred at the Semnan spaceport, according to media reports.
From the perspective of the United States and its allies, the Resolution 2231 of the UN Security Council all rocket launches to Iran. According to the Russian reading, the said resolution does not contain an express prohibition, but only a corresponding call.
In addition, following the withdrawal from the international nuclear deal, the United States is putting increasing pressure on Iran to force the country to make concessions on its nuclear program. The sanctions have already resulted in an economic crisis and bloody protests in Iran.
leo / ae