Satellite images released on Wednesday night indicate that Iran has attempted a satellite launch for the second time, as reported by Associated Press. Iran attempted to launch a satellite for the first time earlier in January but failed as the satellite didn’t reach the orbit. Iran hasn’t admitted to the launch news, though it is said that the nation has made similar delays in acknowledging the launch in past as well.
The images were released by Colorado-based company DigitalGlobe, which showed a rocket at the Imam Khomeini Space Center in Iran’s Semnan province. Image analysts of the company said the satellite pictures from Tuesday show the rocket took off, leaving behind what looked like burn marks on its launch pad. They also said that the images exhibit words in Farsi written on the launch pad which read “40 years” and “Iranian made”. It is believed that the launch was also used to commemorate 40 years of Iranian Revolution which was celebrated on 1 February. Iran usually displays space achievements in February
The Islamic nation earlier announced that it would launch another satellite named “Doosti”, or friendship, after its “Payam” or “message,” failed to enter into orbit.
US has openly criticised Iran for developing ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. The launch was executed (if true) despite recent warnings from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Iran to cease its nuclear activities and attempts to develop ballistic missiles. Pompeo asked that Iran halt its plans related to space launch plans as it comes in conflict UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
According to the Associated Press, Iran in the past has clarified its stand by saying that it is not developing nuclear weapons and its satellite launches do not have a military component. Tehran also said they did not violate a United Nations resolution that only “called upon” it not to conduct such tests.