Iran launches satellite into space, fails: report

The rocket carrying the satellite "failed to reach the required speed in the third stage," according to the country's communications minister.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends India-Iran business forum in New Delhi, India, January 8, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS/ANUSHREE FADNAVIS)
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attends India-Iran business forum in New Delhi, India, January 8, 2019.
(photo credit: REUTERS/ANUSHREE FADNAVIS)
Iran has admitted that it tried to launch a satellite into space but that the experiment failed, Israeli media reported Tuesday.
Iranian Communications Minister Mohammad-Javad Azari said the rocket carrying the satellite "failed to reach the required speed in the third stage, even though it succeeded in the first two stages of the launch."
Consequently the satellite did not manage to enter its orbit, according to reports.
Last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif announced that, despite US warnings, Iran would be continuing its space program. The program includes Space Launch Vehicles which have technology akin to that of a ballistic missile.
"There is no international law that prohibits us from [continuing]," Zarif said.
This comes not long after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo advised Iran "to reconsider these provocative launches and cease all activities related to ballistic missiles in order to avoid deeper economic and diplomatic isolation."
Last week, the European Union froze the assets of an Iranian intelligence unit and two of its staff, as the Netherlands accused Iran of two killings on its soil in 2015 and 2017, and joined France and Denmark in alleging Tehran plotted other attacks in Europe.
The move, although in part symbolic since one of the men is in prison in Belgium, marks the first time the EU has enacted sanctions on Iran since lifting a host of curbs on it three years ago following its 2015 nuclear pact with world powers.

Tamar Beeri and Herb Keinon contributed to this report.