Against a backdrop of deepening tensions with the United States, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard revealed that it has launched the country’s first military satellite into orbit.
Details on the Guard’s official website indicate that the satellite took off from Iran’s Central Desert and reached an orbit of 264 miles above the Earth’s surface.
News of the “Noor” satellite, and the secret space program from which it originated, raised concern that the technology used potentially could help Iran develop intercontinental ballistic missiles. The Noor mission follows several failed satellite launches in recent months, which the United States said were in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution asking Iran to refrain from any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
Iran insists that it is not seeking nuclear weapons and previously has argued that its rocket tests lack a military component — a claim now being called into question. U.S. Army Maj. Rob Lodewick, a Pentagon spokesman, said American officials continue to monitor Iran’s program.
source: Associated Press