Iran launches Simorgh satellite carrier from Imam Khomeini Space Center

Posted July 29, 2017

Iran has claimed to have successfully launched a new indigenous multi-stage satellite launch vehicle that can orbit payloads into low earth orbits, on Thursday.

"We consider that to be continued ballistic-missile development", Nauert said.

The test launch was reportedly carried out by Iran's Imam Khomeini National Space Center.

The rocket that was launched is based on Shahab military technology and specialists warn of the possible consequences of significant progress within Iran's missile program.

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The name "Simorgh" means "Phoenix" in Farsi. While Iran has been able to get some objects into space, analysts generally believe they have not yet been able to put a satellite into stable orbit. But it recently abandoned plans to potentially send humans into orbit, saying in late May that the cost of doing so was prohibitive.

Iranian state media carried the announcement early Thursday.

According to the United States Institute of Peace, the two programs do run on similar technology.

Nader Karimi Joni, a journalist close to the government of President Hassan Rouhani of Iran, said the launch on Thursday was a reaction to the House vote on Tuesday approving the new sanctions.

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The US criticised the launch and described it as a provocative action.

The United States has insisted, however, that such missile and satellite tests violate the "spirit" of the nuclear deal and has announced a series of sanctions targeting missile tests since the deal was signed. But while the language on Iran's nuclear program is precise and extensive, the language involving missiles is ambiguous.

Meanwhile, Iran's Defense Minister ‎Hossein Dehqan, who accompanied Rouhani at the IKSC, told reporters that the spaceport acted as a "command and control site" that could track and control satellites at all times.

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