Iranians take pictures of the Simorgh (Phoenix) satellite rocket during celebrations in Tehran to mark the 37th anniversary of the Islamic revolution on February 11, 2016. Iranians waved 'Death to America' banners and took selfies with a ballistic missile weeks after Iran finalized a nuclear deal with world powers. (Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

Report: Iran Planning Controversial Satellite Launch

Satellite imagery reportedly shows that Iran may be planning to launch a satellite into orbit, following two failed attempts in January and February of this year. According to the Al Arabiya news outlet, the imagery shows a launch pad and increased activity at the Imam Khomeini Space Center; this, after Tehran released an official statement that a new satellite would be delivered to the country’s defense ministry. Members of the international community, foremost the United States and Israel, have denounced Iran’s previous attempts to launch satellites into space, arguing that such moves defy a United Nations Security Council resolution prohibiting the Islamic Republic from conducting any activities related to the development of ballistic missiles. In this respect, long-range ballistic technology required to put satellites into orbit could also be used to develop delivery systems for nuclear warheads. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently called on the Iranian regime “to reconsider these provocative launches… in order to avoid deeper economic and diplomatic isolation.”

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