Iran Puts New Military Satellite In Orbit
Iran announced Tuesday it had successfully placed a military satellite in orbit, as talks on nuclear deal reach a critical stage.
The official propaganda claimed the the Qassed rocket of the aerospace wing of the Revolutionary Guards launched into space Nour-2 second military satellite placing in in orbit 500 kilometres (310 miles) above the Earth.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps described the Nour-2 as a "reconnaissance satellite" in a statement on its Sepah News website.
It said the satellite was launched from the Shahroud desert in Semnan province, some 300 kilometres (200 miles) east of the capital.
Telecommunications Minister Issa Zarepour hailed the successful launch.
The first signals from Nour-2 have been successfully received by ground stations, he said in statement for IRNA propaganda agency.
This reconnaissance satellite will orbit the Earth every 90 minutes, and its mission will last at least three years, he added.
The United States has repeatedly voiced concern that such launches could boost Iran's ballistic missile technology.
But Iran insists it is not seeking nuclear weapons and that its satellite and rocket launches 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.
Sepah News said Tuesday that the Nour-1 was "still fully operational and transmitting data".
At the end of December, Iran announced it had failed to put in orbit "three research cargos" carried by Simorgh (Phoenix) satellite carrier as the rocket was unable to reach the required speed.
In January, Iran tested a solid-fuel rocket for its satellite programme, state media reported.