Three months after launching a satellite with the help of Russia, Iran announced this Saturday that it successfully tested a rocket capable of carrying satellites into space.
Amid rising tensions with Israel and the United States, Iran seems to have decided to follow its own path of moving forward, with the country announcing this Saturday that it launched a satellite-carrying rocket into space.
According to Iran’s state-run media, the Islamic Republic tested the “successful suborbital launch of the satellite launcher named Ghaem-100 this Friday night, using the Rafe solid-fuel vehicle.”
The rocket named “Ghaem-100”, was manufactured by the aerospace organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and it is the country’s first three-stage solid-fuel satellite launcher. Ghaem-100 “is capable of placing satellites weighing 80 kilograms (176 pounds) in an orbit 500 kilometers (just over 300 miles) from the surface of the earth,” Iran’s media said.
“Today, the IRGC has officially acquired 5,500 to 12,500 km medium-range missiles in the form of two-stage and three-stage solid fuel, and it will definitely be able to attack European soil and the American bases in Diego Garcia!” it added.
This acceleration shows the use of new fuel with high energy density, suitable green design with abundant thrust production and the use of a fully composite engine, which greatly helped to simplify the rocket.
This is a very big achievement for Iran because and few countries have achieved such level of rocket science.
US reacted to the launch
Following the successful launch of Ghaem-100 rocket, one of the spokesmen of the US State Department in a written response to the move called it “unprofitable and destabilizing” and expressed concern about the progress of Iran’s space program.
Reuters news agency also wrote this Saturday that the American official, while announcing the “concern” of the White House about the continuous development of Iran’s satellite launchers, claimed that the technologies used in it are “similar and equivalent to ballistic missiles, including long-range systems, and is dangerous for the peace of the world.”
This spokesman, whom Reuters did not name, claimed that the launch of Iran’s satellite launchers is a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which calls on Iran to refrain from any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
The American diplomat also threatened that Washington will use various expressions of non-proliferation, including sanctions, to counter the further development of Iran’s ballistic missile program.
A long history of rivalry
Washington ad Tel Aviv have repeatedly expressed their concerns that such launches could boost Iran’s ballistic missile technology, extending to the potential delivery of nuclear warheads as they claim. Iran, however, has constantly denied any attempt to build nuclear weapons, something that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has also approved many times. Also, regarding the satellite and rocket programs, Tehran insists that they are for civil or defensive purposes only.
Iran successfully put its first military satellite into orbit in April 2020, drawing a sharp rebuke from Washington. In August this year, another Iranian satellite, named Khayyam, was launched by Russia on a Soyuz-2.1b rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Iran’s space agency said the device was constructed by Russia under Iran’s supervision.
The US alleged at the time that the Khayyam would enable “significant spying capabilities” and that a deepening Russia-Iran alliance amounted to a “profound threat” to the world.
Iran’s space agency, however, rejected those allegations, countering that the purpose of Khayyam was to “monitor the country’s borders,” and help with the management of natural resources and agriculture.