0146 GMT November 23, 2019
Iran’s government spokesman Ali Rabiei said on Monday that a technical malfunction during a test caused an explosion at Imam Khomeini Space Center in Semnan Province on Thursday.
"The explosion happened at the launchpad and no satellite had yet been transferred to the launchpad," Rabiei said.
"It has been a technical matter and a technical error. Our experts unanimously say so," he added.
Rabiei’s remarks came after the US President Donald Trump on Friday released a photo of what he claimed to be a "catastrophic accident" at the launchpad in a space center in Iran's northern Semnan Province.
“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.
Referring to the Thursday explosion, Iran’s government spokesman underlined that such incidents happen all over the world, adding that even in the advanced countries huge explosions have taken place in the past.
Rabiei also criticized Trump's decision to tweet about the explosion.
"We don't understand why the US president tweets and posts satellite pictures with excitement. This is not understandable," he said. "Maybe this is because lack of Iran-related subjects that they raise such issues."
On Saturday, Iran’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi showed Nahid 1 telecommunication satellite to journalists and photographers, refuting Trump's claim of the spacecraft's failed launch.
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!"
IRNA and AP contributed to this story.