Sun Oct 4, 2015 2:21AM
Iranian-made satellite carrier Safir-e-Omid
Iranian-made satellite carrier Safir-e-Omid

Iran is to reclaim a satellite seized by Italy due to the sanctions imposed on Tehran over its peaceful nuclear program.

Talks are underway with Rome on the returning of the Iranian Mesbah satellite, said Head of the Iranian Space Organization Mohsen Bahrami in an interview with Mehr News Agency on Saturday.

“Because of the sanctions, the Iranian Mesbah satellite has been held under seizure by Italy for three years now, and [currently] we are engaged in talks to take the satellite back,” said the top space official.

He said the satellite was designed and developed over 10 years ago in cooperation with an Italian company. However, he added, the satellite, which was at the disposal of Italy for its final test, did not get the chance to be launched into space due to the sanctions.

He said the satellite was originally supposed to be launched into space by Russians and then Indians, but “this did not happen because of the sanctions, and the Mesbah satellite has not been launched [into space] yet.”

One cannot say when the negotiations with the Italian side might bear fruit, said Bahrami, adding if Iran can take back the satellite and it becomes ready for launch, Tehran will follow up on its previous talks with such countries as Russia and India which are capable of launching satellites.

He further noted that Iran has no plans to launch satellites during the current Iranian year (ending March 2016).