Iran's Simorgh satellite carrier successfully tested, mission is to put Iranian satellites into orbit (Representational Image)
Iran has successfully tested its Simorgh satellite carrier on Thursday. The Satellite was launched days after warning Washington of a response to new US sanctions over the Islamic republic's ballistic missile programme, state television said.
According to reports, the Simorgh satellite carrier is capable of putting satellites weighing as much as 250 kilograms at an orbit about 500 kilometers above the Earth’s surface.
The report said Imam Khomeini Space Center is responsible for all operations related to satellite carriers, including preparation, launch, control and steering.
The launch marked the official inauguration of Iran's Imam Khomeini space centre, named after the late founder of the Islamic republic, built for sending satellites into space,the television said, without giving its location.
Western states suspect Iran of developing the technology capable of launching long-range ballistic missiles with conventional or nuclear payloads, a charge denied by Tehranwhich insists its space programme has purely peaceful aims. Iran's four other launches of domestically produced satellites since 2009 have all sparked condemnation in theWest.
President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran would respond in kind to any breach by the United States of a 2015 nuclear deal after the House of Representatives passed a newsanctions bill.
"If the enemy steps over part of the agreement, we willdo the same, and if they step over the entire deal, we will dothe same too," Rouhani said at a cabinet meeting.
The Iranian parliament's national security and foreign affairs committee said it would hold an extraordinary session on Saturday to discuss its formal response. The parliament voted earlier this month to fast-track abill introduced in June that would increase funds for Iran'smissile programme and Revolutionary Guards.
"We must always develop our defence capability and wewill strengthen our defensive weapons regardless of theopinion of others," Rouhani said. The US House passed a new sanctions bill on Tuesday targeting the Revolutionary Guards over its missile programme.
As part of its space programme, Iran has also sent two capsules into space, the first in February 2010 carrying arat, tortoises and insects, and the other in January 2013 when a monkey was sent into space and returned to earth safely, according to official media.
With PTI Input