Iran satellite in U.S. row fails to reach orbit: State media

Hugh Fox
January 16, 2019

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on January 3 that the launch of such a satellite "would once again demonstrate Iran's defiance of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231, which calls upon the Iranian regime not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons".

Netanyahu alleged that what Tehran claimed to be an "innocent satellite" was actually "the first stage of an intercontinental missile" Iran is developing in violation of worldwide resolutions.

The U.S.is concerned that the long-range ballistic technology used to put satellites into orbit can also be used to launch warheads.

Iran's bid to put a satellite into orbit, in defiance of United States warnings, failed on Tuesday after the rocket carrying it did not reach escape velocity, as the country's telecoms minister said a second launch would go ahead.

The Payam (Message in Persian) and its launch vehicle had gone through successful testing of its first and second stages, the minister said.

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"I advise them to get out of there quickly because we will continue our offensive policy as we promised and as we do without fear and without pause", Netanyahu said in a warning to Iran.

Iran has said it plans to send two satellites, Payam and Doosti, into the orbit.

Iran defied threats of sanctions from the United States and tried to launch a satellite.

President Hassan Rouhani said Washington was waging an economic war against Tehran in order to get concessions on the missile program, but "is not able to build a wall around Iran". Jahromi wrote on Twitter that "Doosti is waiting for orbit", without elaborating.

The AP speculated that the wreckage from the satellite likely fell into the Indian Ocean, based on the location of its launch and its presumed trajectory.

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This year will mark the 40th anniversary of the revolution amid Iran facing increasing pressure from the US under the administration of President Donald Trump.

"ISI satellite imagery reveals that the launch preparation process is in its final stages", the company said.

Ahmad Motamedi, the chancellor of Tehran Amirkabir University of Technology, which designed the satellite, told the semi-official Mehr news agency that Mr. Jahromi already has ordered them to design another satellite.

Illustrative: This picture released by the official website of the Iranian Defense Ministry on Thursday, July 27, 2017, claims to show the Simorgh satellite-carrying rocket, center, before being launched into space from Imam Khomeini National Space Center in an undisclosed location, Iran.

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