Iran’s Revolutionary Guards successfully launched a third military satellite into orbit today, state media reported, citing Minister of Communications Issa Zarepour.
According to Reuters, the Noor 3 imaging satellite orbits at an altitude of 450 kilometres (280 miles) above the earth’s surface and was launched by the three-stage Qased, or messenger carrier, state media said, which launched its predecessor Noor 2 in 2022.
⚡️🇮🇷| Iran launches Noor-3 satellite
This is IRGC's 3rd military satellite that it launches into the space using Qased SLV.
Noor-3 carries out Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) & optical missions. Specs are Not announced but Noor-2 had a resolution of 10m.
Vid🎞️: Qased SLV. pic.twitter.com/WKVCTUPs7h
— 𝐄𝐡𝐬𝐚𝐧 𝐒𝐚𝐟𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐣𝐚𝐝 (@Safarnejad_IR) September 27, 2023
The US military says the same long-range ballistic technology used to put satellites into orbit could also allow Tehran to launch longer-range weapons, possibly including nuclear warheads.
Tehran denies US assertions that such activity is a cover for ballistic missile development and says it has never pursued the development of nuclear weapons.
Iran, which has one of the biggest missile programs in the Middle East, has suffered several failed satellite launches in recent years due to technical issues.
The Biden administration issued fresh Iran-related sanctions on 19 September, targeting multiple people and entities in Iran, Russia, China and Turkey in connection with Tehran’s drone and military aircraft development.
It had previously imposed sanctions on Iran’s civilian space agency and two research organisations in 2019, saying they were being used to advance Tehran’s ballistic missile program.