Iran confirms it successfully launched rocket carrying satellite into space

Fars confirms rocket test of “Simorgh” success; Rocket test is yet another violation of UNSC resolution and nuclear deal




Iran reported that it tested a rocket capable of delivering satellites into orbit, again violating a U.N Security Council resolution.

Fars News Agency, Iran’s state media, confirmed the rocket test of a “Simorgh” (Phoenix) rocket, capable of carrying satellites into orbit. The rocket can carry over 250 kilograms in weight and is another advance in Iran’s missile program capabilities.

While Fars was not specific on when the rocket was tested, it confirmed the event, releasing the statement “The Imam Khomeini Space Centre was officially opened with the successful test of the Simorgh space launch vehicle. The Simorgh can place a satellite weighing up to 250 kg in an orbit of 500 km.” It claimed its space program is peaceful and that the rockets cannot carry nuclear warheads.

The rocket was reported to be carrying several photos of Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Iran is prohibited from testing ballistic missiles under United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, as well as under the nuclear deal made between world powers and the United States.

In January of this year, Iran carried out a ballistic missile test, violating the United Nations resolution banning such missile tests. The test was of a Khorramshahr ballistic missile, reports claiming the test failed after reaching 600 miles and exploding.

In May of 2016, Iran reported that it successfully tested a medium-range ballistic missile, the missile tested reported to be capable of reaching over 1, 240 miles. Iran’s Tasnim news agency quoted Iran’s Deputy Chief of Army, Brigadier General Ali Abdollahi at the time who stated “We tested a missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers and eight meters error margin two weeks ago. An eight-meter error margin means …full accuracy.”

In March of last year, Iran tested two ballistic missiles with “Israel must be wiped out” written on the missiles. Head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s Aerospace Division, Brid. Gen. Ali Hajizadeh, confirmed the test stating at the time “The reason we designed our missiles with a range of 2,000 kilometers is to be able to hit our enemy the Zionist regime from a safe distance.”

Iran denies its missile development and tests violate any UN resolutions, claiming its military advances are not subject to investigation nor any violation of the nuclear deal made with world powers.

Israel has repeatedly called on the international community to hold Iran accountable for its violations. Iran insists that advancing its missile program and carrying out missile tests are in no violation of international law.