Ahmadinejad with satellites 311 AP.
(photo credit: AP)
Iran made an impressive step forward in its space efforts on Monday, introducing
four new domestically produced satellites as part of a program that is moving
ahead despite international sanctions and boycotts.
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State TV showed
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiling the satellites – Fajr, Rasad, Zafar and
Amir Kabir-1 – on Monday at a ceremony in Teheran. The report described them as
research satellites but did not provide details. Iran says it has launched at
least two satellites, but does not have any currently in orbit.
fears that Iran’s space program could bolster its ballistic missile program and
According to Tal Inbar, head of the Space Research Center
at Israel’s Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies, the new
satellites are significant and demonstrate Iran’s impressive and growing space
capabilities “We are seeing a major breakthrough for the Iranians,” Inbar said.
“They are currently working on nine different satellites. They are thorough and
demonstrate impressive results.”
On Saturday the country showed off a
sophisticated ground station for the satellites, while last week it unveiled a
new launch site that can facilitate 40-meterlong missiles.
that if the Iranians succeed in launching satellites into space, the same
missile technology could be applied for military purposes, for example with
“If they are good at launching satellites, they can
also launch missiles for military purposes,” he said. “The Iranians understand
that space is important, and it is only a matter of time before they have more
They are ready for business.”AP
contributed to this report.