On Wednesday, April 22, Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard said that the country has launched the military satellite into orbit after months of failures. There has been no other independent confirmation regarding the launch of the satellite named 'Noor' or light. The US State Department and the Pentagon have not said anything regarding the matter to the press.
The official site of the guard said that the satellite has been launched into the orbit of 425 kilometres (264 miles) above the Earth's surface.
The satellite launch took place from the Central Desert in Iran. The Guard did not elaborate on the two-stage launch that took place but said that the Ghased, or "Messenger," satellite carrier was used to put the satellite into space. This carrier is previously unheard of.
Final success after several failures
In the past, the country has suffered several failures during the launching of the satellites. Even in recent months, Iran had suffered a failed launch with the Zafar 1 communications satellite. Prior to the failure in February, there were two other failures Payam and Doosti satellites last year. There was also a launchpad explosion which happened in August last year. There was a separate attack on the Imam Khomeini Space Center in February 2019, which killed three space researchers said authorities.
There have been suspicions about outside interference in the failed launches in Iran. The launches had also gained the attention of the US President Donald Trump who addressed the explosion by tweeting that the US "was not involved in the catastrophic accident."
There have been further worries from the American and European officials about Iran's capabilities in launching intercontinental ballistic missiles. The US has also said that these launches defy the UN Security Council protocol.
Iran has continued to say that these launches were in no way related to seeking nuclear weapons capability. But the worry of Iran's involvement in the satellite launch and acquiring an intercontinental ballistic missile still continues. Iran has continued to say that there is no military aspect to the launch of the satellite.