According to Iranian media, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) could launch a third satellite into space and successfully put it into orbit.
This Wednesday, and according to Iranian media, two military officials from the aerospace division of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said that the Islamic Republic launched a satellite to outer space and could successfully put it into orbit.
The satellite was, as the officials noted, the third version of the imaging satellite Nour, which means “light” in Persian, and was put into low orbit to do its job along with its two other predecessors. No Western official has yet commented on the news.
Iran’s desire to put satellite into orbit dates back to decades ago, but it was only in recent years that the country has been speeding up its progress in the field. The first version of the Nour imaging satellite was successfully launched in April 2020 into an orbit 425km (265 miles) above the Earth, becoming the first military reconnaissance satellite ever launched by the Islamic Republic after many failed attempts.
Less than two years later in early 2022 and using the mixed-fuel carrier, Iran could send the second version of the Nour satellite into a low orbit of 500km (310 miles). A few months later in August, an Iranian-owned and Russian-built satellite, which was said be capable of taking high-resolution images, was successfully launched from a base in Kazakhstan.
Western countries against Iran’s space program
All the progress regarding Iran’s space abilities is while the Western countries, especially the US, have imposed heavy sanctions on Tehran’s space program for many years. They believe that Iran’s activities in developing indigenous satellites are in violation of the United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 underpinning the country’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers because the technology could potentially be used to facilitate nuclear weapons. Iran, however, has repeatedly dismissed such claims, maintaining that its nuclear program is entirely peaceful.
As part of one of the clauses of the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a number of restrictions on Iran’s development of ballistic missiles is set to be automatically lifted next month.
However, the three European countries party to the deal, including the UK, France, and Germany, issued a statement last month, claiming that despite their promises they had made in the deal, none of them is going to agree to the lifting of the sanctions. The reason, as the statement said, was because Iran has violated the accord by restoring more 60% enriched uranium than expected.
Rejecting the idea, Iran says it was first the US who violated the deal by unilaterally pulling out of it back in 2018, and then the EU countries party to the deal who never fulfilled their promises regarding lifting of sanctions against Tehran.
And now, despite all the embargo from Western countries, Iranian officials have promised to carry on with the expanding satellite program and are expected to launch even more satellites into different orbits in the near future.