Iran’s president on Thursday said the Islamic Republic soon will send two new satellites into orbit using Iran-made rockets, despite United States concern the launch could help further develop its ballistic missiles.
President Hassan Rouhani’s comments, during a memorial for the late President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, confirmed that the rocket launches will take place.
Iran generally displays achievements in its space program in February, during the year of 1979 Islamic Revolution. This year will mark the 40th anniversary of the revolution, which saw Persian monarchy of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi replaced by the Islamic Republic of the Shia cleric.
Without explanation, “Soon, in the coming weeks, we will send two satellites to space using our domestically-made rockets,” Rouhani said.
Previously, Iran has sent several short-lived satellites into a quarter over the past, and in 2013 a monkey opened space. The US and its allies worry that same satellite-launching technology can be used for long-range missiles to develop.
Last week, Iran said the country’s three new satellites have successfully passed pre-launch tests.
Earlier in January, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Iran’s plans for sending satellite calls in the orbit show that the United Nations Security Council resolution of the resolution that Iran has no related activity to the ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
Iran insists the launches do not violate the resolution.
Meanwhile on Thursday, Iran started a yearly air drill in central parts of the country.
The state-run IRNA news agency said dozens of fighter jets, bombers and transport planes are taking part in the 2-day maneuver. It said that the US-made F-14, F-5 and F-4 fighter jets of the Shah’s era, the Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jet, as well as Iranian-made Saegheh fighter will participate in the annual war game.
Drones, laser-guided rockets and heavy smart bombs will also be used, said Gen. Amir Angizeh, the maneuver’s spokesman.
Pompeo is currently touring the Mideast to promote the White House’s tough stand on Iran and to assure that America’s Arab allies that the Trump administration does not walk from the region.
On Wednesday, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called on Washington officials “first class class” remarks in unusually harsh remarks that President Donald Trump withdrew from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.