Iran denies failure of satellite launch

Tehran: Iran has denied the failure of the launch of a communication satellite on Saturday as alleged by the US.

Iran’s Information and Communication Technology Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi tweeted a photo for him beside the satellite Nahid-1 with a comment saying: “Me & Nahid I right now, Good Morning Donald Trump”, Efe news reported

He also published footage of the satellite at the Iranian Space Research Centre, saying that it has not been launched yet.

US President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday: “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,” he continued, attaching what is believed to be a satellite image of the Iranian launching site.

Jahromi responded that he had no idea about Washington’s claims and that they were not related to Nahid-1.

When asked about the alleged explosion that was pointed at by the US as a result of a failed launching, Jahromi said that the matter is for the Defence Ministry to report on.

He added that Nahid-1 is a communication satellite intended to be in an orbit 250 km far from the Earth during September, and which will stay in space for two and a half months.

Although the satellite has a surveillance camera that is capable of capturing and transmitting images, Iran’s ICT minister reiterated that this is not its main function.

He also added that Nahid-1 has passed all its assessments and was ready to be launched once the Defence Ministry authorizes it.

According to images from Planet Labs, a US private Earth-imaging company, the Iranian satellite exploded while on its launch pad at the Imam Khomeini Spaceport, part of the Semnan Space Centre in the northern province of Semnan.