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Iran plans to launch a 2nd military satellite amid US condemnation

April 24, 2020 at 1:30 pm

Satellite orbiting Earth [ThegreenJ/Wikipedia]

Following the successful launch of Iran’s first military satellite on Wednesday, commander of the space unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Ali Jaafar Abadi said yesterday that the “Noor 2” satellite is ready and that the next step is to send it into orbit, with plans to launch larger satellites in the future, reported Al-Masdar.

 “Noor 1 is our first military satellite and we will make larger satellites in the future that will settle into higher orbits.”

Abadi explained that the Noor 1, which is for reconnaissance purposes, orbits the Earth 16 times a day, 430 kilometres from the surface of the earth.

Despite the successful launch, Iran, which faces heavy US-imposed sanctions, drew criticism from Washington as officials from the Trump administration said it was a violation of UN Resolution 2231. “Every nation has an obligation to go to the United Nations and evaluate whether this missile launch was consistent with that Security Council resolution,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters. American allies Germany and France followed suit with their own condemnation, both countries are still committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which the US withdrew from in 2018 under Trump.

READ: Iran ready to defend itself against US aggression at sea

However, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, yesterday dismissed the claim by the West that Iran violated resolution 2231, instead accusing Washington of being in violation of the nuclear deal.

According to Zakharova, the US “flagrantly breached the norms of international law and violated the UNSC resolution 2231” and is trying to deflect international condemnation by baseless accusations against Iran and its incompliance with the requirements of the Security Council.

The US Space Command is reportedly tracking the objects launched from Iran; the Qased rocket and Noor satellite with which it was launched, reportedly from a Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL).

According to CNN, the move is seen as a significant step because Iran’s space program uses the same technology that could also be used to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile, which would increase Tehran’s capability to strike enemy targets.

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