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Iran tests home-grown quantum cryptography on longer distance

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran successfully tests its home-grown version of quantum cryptography on a distance of 1,650 meters.

Researchers at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) have successfully tested a home-grown version of the quantum key distribution (QKD) technology on a relatively long distance of 1,650 meters.

The test carried out on Monday at Tehran’s Milad Tower saw researchers use photons to carry a message encrypted through quantum keys between parties stationed at the tower and the nearby AEOI premises.

AEOI chief Ali Akbar Salehi and Iranian deputy president for scientific affair Sorena Sattari attended the ceremony to promote the home-grown QKD.

Researchers had previously tested the technology on shorter distances of two meters and 300 meters.

The tests began in 2018 when Iran announced it will become one of the few countries in the world to develop QKD.

The technology uses quantum physics rules to distribute cryptographic keys to remote parties in order to make their communication immune to cyberattacks.

Experts believe QKD would grow in significance in the upcoming years amid increasing demand for more secure channels of communication.

AEOI’s Salehi said his organization is planning to launch a fourth phase of QKD test on a 7-kilometer distance between the Milad Tower and Azadi Tower in Tehran in the near future.

Salehi said the AEOI hopes it could use the QKD for secure communication between the organization’s headquarters in Tehran and a major nuclear site in Fordow in central Iran.

He said the secure channel, planned to come on line in the next one or two years, would be able to carry 90-100 bits per seconds of data through an optic fiber network.

The AEOI has been the target of high-profile cyberattacks in the past, including on several occasions by the Israeli regime and the US.

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