News ID: 258089
Published: 0213 GMT August 31, 2019

Iran shows undamaged satellite, refutes US claim of failed launch

Iran shows undamaged satellite, refutes US claim of failed launch

Iran on Saturday showed Nahid 1 (Venus 1) telecommunication satellite to journalists and photographers, refuting US President Donald Trump's claim of the spacecraft's failed launch.

Iranian Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi took the reporters to a space research center, where the domestically-made satellite was showcased undamaged. 

Earlier in the day, Jahromi posted a picture of himself along with the telecommunication satellite, saying, "Me & Nahid 1 right now. Good Morning Donald Trump!"

It came one day after Trump posted on Twitter a black-and-white photo of what he claimed to be a "catastrophic accident" at the launch pad in a space center in Iran's northern Semnan Province, saying it involved Safir (ambassador) satellite-carrier rocket.

“The United States of America was not involved in the catastrophic accident during final launch preparations for the Safir SLV Launch at Semnan Launch Site One in Iran. I wish Iran best wishes and good luck in determining what happened at Site One,” Trump said.

Some media reports said that the picture showed a third failed attempt by Tehran to lift a satellite into space.

Jahromi, however, took to Twitter to reject the reports, saying, "Frankly, Nahid 1 is doing well, is in the laboratory, and reporters can come visit.”

Asked about the US claim of an explosion that led to a failed launch, said the Defense Ministry should comment on the matter.

“I have no idea about the Americans’ comments on the Semnan Space Base, and it would be better for the defense minister, who is in charge, to talk about it, but what can be seen today is that the Nahid satellite is here and it's not delivered yet,” he said.

The Trump administration has ratcheted up economic pressure on Iran with sanctions to try to force it to renegotiate a 2015 pact with world powers limiting its nuclear program. Trump withdrew the United States from the pact in May last year.

Trump has offered to hold talks with Iran but Tehran says it must first get relief from US sanctions.

Iran is expected to launch three satellites into orbit by the end of the year despite US warnings against the country's aerospace program.

The satellites include Nahid 1, which has Iran's first foldable solar panels, as well as Zafar and Pars 1 sensing satellites.

Iran launched its first locally-built satellite, Omid (Hope), in 2009. The country also sent its first bio-capsule containing living creatures into space in February 2010, using Kavoshgar (Explorer)-3 carrier.

In February 2015, Iran placed its domestically-made Fajr (Dawn) satellite into orbit, which is capable of taking and transmitting high-quality photos to stations on Earth.

In January 2019, the domestically-built Payam (Message) satellite was launched into space with an aim to collect environmental information; however, technical problems that occurred during the final stage of the launch prevented the spacecraft from reaching orbit.

Press TV and Reuters contributed to this story.  


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