Iran Successfully Launches Imaging Satellite into Orbit, US Acknowledges
The United States has quietly recognized that Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard successfully launched an imaging satellite into orbit, marking another successful launch for Tehran’s space program. This launch, called Noor-3, was put into orbit with a Qased rocket, a three-stage rocket fueled by both liquid and solid fuels. The satellite is said to have “image accuracy that is two-and-a-half times that of the Noor-2 satellite” and has thrusters for the first time, allowing it to maneuver in orbit.
The US military has not responded to requests for comment regarding Iran’s recent launch. However, data published by space-track.org, supplied by the US Space Force, confirms the launch of the Noor-3 satellite. This acknowledgment comes after Washington had previously criticized Iran’s satellite launches, claiming that they were supporting Tehran’s ballistic missile program.
Iran’s successful satellite launches have raised concerns for the West and Ukraine, as Iran has been providing bomb-carrying drones to Russia. General Ali Jafarabadi, the Guard’s space commander, stated that the use of satellite technologies is crucial for success on the battlefield and that the armed forces of progressive countries are making their equipment remote-controlled. Iran’s satellite program is not only focused on imaging but also potentially controlling drones.
The US has called on Iran to cease all activity involving ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons as it defies a UN Security Council resolution. International sanctions have limited Iran’s access to commercially available imagery, leading it to develop its own satellites. However, the US Space Command has dismissed Iran’s previous satellite, Noor-1, as a “tumbling Web cam in space” with limited intelligence gathering capabilities.
As Iran continues to advance its ballistic missile capabilities, it poses a serious threat to regional and international security, according to the US intelligence community’s 2023 worldwide threat assessment. The US remains committed to countering Iran’s ballistic missile program through nonproliferation tools, including sanctions.
– The Associated Press