Iran prepares for satellite launch

Iran is preparing a site for launching a satellite, a government minister said on Monday, highlighting a program the United States says is a cover for ballistic missile development.

“Yes, a site is being prepared for placing the Zafar satellite into orbit,” Iranian Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi tweeted.

The post included a link to a story by US broadcaster National Public Radio that noted satellite imagery suggested the Islamic Republic was preparing for a space launch. Iran had at least two failed satellite launches last year.

After the Zafar satellite is placed in orbit a timeline has been finalised to launch five more, the minister said.

The United States fears long-range ballistic technology used to put satellites into orbit could also be used to launch nuclear warheads.

Tehran denies the US accusation that such activity is a cover for ballistic missile development and says it has never pursued the development of nuclear weapons.

Read the article in The Australian (Reuters).