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Iran to launch new homegrown satellite into orbit by year-end

Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)’s Aerospace Division (Photo by Tasnim News Agency)

A top commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says the country will launch a new satellite into orbit by the year-end.

Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC’s aerospace division, made the announcement on the sidelines of the 12th Malek Ashtar Festival in Tehran on Sunday. 

He said the new home-grown satellite will be launched into space using the country’s Qa’em satellite carrier.

“By God’s will, we will launch the new satellite carrier Qa’em into space by the year-end,” Hajizadeh said, hailing it as a “continuation of [the country’s] achievements” in the field of aerospace technology.

He noted that the enemy today admits to Iran's military capabilities while asserting that the Islamic Republic, its armed forces, and the IRGC have a "valuable position and real superiority".

It is the third military satellite Iran will put into orbit. The country launched its second satellite, dubbed Nour (Light)-2, into orbit in March 2022 and the first one in April 2020.

The orbiter, tasked with carrying out reconnaissance missions, was launched on board the domestically-built satellite carrier Qassed (Messenger) from a launchpad based in the Dasht-e Kavir, Iran’s sprawling central desert.

It was placed into orbit at an altitude of 500 km after 480 seconds at a speed of 6.7 km/s.

Speaking on the sidelines of Nour-2’s launch at the time, the IRGC’s chief commander, Major General Hossein Salami said Iran was the first Muslim country to launch a satellite into space.

He remarked that the achievement demonstrates Iran’s victory in the battle of technology over the enemies, who had sought to thwart the country’s development.

Noor 1, Iran’s first military satellite, was launched in April 2020. It is currently orbiting the earth at a 425-kilometer-long distance.

In his remarks on Sunday, Hajizadeh said “thousands of” young elites are contributing to Iran’s aerospace field.

The country’s enemies themselves are today acknowledging its development in the aerospace and air defense areas, he said.

The senior commander cited remarks made by the head of the US central command General Kenneth McKenzie last year when he admitted that Iran's use of drones meant that the US was operating without complete air superiority for the first time since the Korean War.

“They (the enemies) say [Iran’s] aerospace, drone, and missile programs are even more important than its nuclear [work],” Hajizadeh said.

“The enemy admits that its [policy of] ‘maximum pressure’ and its [imposition of] crippling sanctions have been faced with ignominious defeat,” he noted.

The IRGC Aerospace commander said Iran is the leader in developing surface-to-air missiles based on UAVs, adding that the country owes its progress to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei’s “prudence.”

"If today the enemies are worried about this power and are calling for negotiations and are looking for a resolution in the Congress to contain Iran, all this is the result of the implementation of these measures," Hajizadeh asserted.

On normalization between the Israeli regime and some Arab states, Hajizadeh said these states are taking refuge in the regime that is a “cancerous tumor” and are willingly or unwillingly “transferring the cancerous tumor to their own countries”.

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