DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran will launch a satellite into orbit by the end of this week, a government minister said on Monday, as part of a fledging program that the United States says is a cover for ballistic missile development.
“We are not afraid of failure and we will not lose hope. With your prayers and trust in God, the Zafar satellite by the end of this week … will be heading toward an orbit of 530 km from Earth,” Iranian Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi tweeted.
Iran had at least two failed satellite launches last year.
The United States fears long-range ballistic technology used to put satellites into orbit could also be used to launch nuclear warheads. Tehran denies that satellite activity is a cover for missile development and says it has never pursued the development of nuclear weapons.