Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in January that two domestically made satellites would be launched “in the coming days” despite US claims that this would violate a UN Security Council resolution dealing with Tehran’s nuclear programme.
Tehran appears to have attempted a second satellite launch despite US criticism that Iran’s space programme is helping the country develop ballistic missiles, satellite images suggest, according to The Times of Israel. Iran has not yet confirmed conducting such a launch.
The Times of Israel reported that images released by the Colorado-based company DigitalGlobe show a rocket at the Imam Khomeini Space Center in Iran’s Semnan Province on 5 February. According to the DigitalGlobe, the images suggest Iran used a Safir, or “ambassador” rocket in the launch.
Images from 6 February show the rocket was gone and with what appears to be burn marks on the launch pad.
#Iran appears to have attempted a second satellite launch, this Sat Imagery released by @DigitalGlobe over Imam Khomeini Space Center shows a rocket on its launch pad last tuesday. @AP claims that imageries from wednesday shows that the rocket was gone. pic.twitter.com/AJY2ddoBCW
— Observer IL — 🅾️🅱️🔺️ (@Obs_IL) 7 февраля 2019 г.
Iran’s previous attempt to launch a Payam satellite on 15 January was unsuccessful because the third stage of the launch rocket failed to gain enough momentum to reach orbit.
The following day, Rouhani noted that Iran would carry out a new satellite launch in the coming months as part of its space programme, having resolved the “minor” problems.
Iran emphasises that the launches do not violate UN Security Council resolutions and are part of the nation’s space exploration programme.