• Sat. Jul 31st, 2021

The US fears Iran satellite rocket launch could spew diplomatic tension, says SLVs technology is similar to that of ballistic missiles


Feb 12, 2021

On February 1, 2021, Iran successfully launched a satellite-carrying rocket. The test launch took place in an undisclosed location in the desert. The United States is not comfortable with Iran’s efforts to develop space launch vehicles (SLVs). According to a statement released by the US State Department spokesperson, this launch could boost missile work at a time when both Iran and the US are slowly getting back together diplomatically.

“The United States remains concerned with Iran’s efforts to develop space launch vehicles, given these programs’ ability to advance Iran’s ballistic missile development,” said the State Department spokesperson. The rocket, named Zuljanah after a horse belonging to Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, uses solid fuel in the first two stages of launch and switches to liquid fuel on the third stage. The satellite carrier can carry a payload weighing up to 220kg for 500km. Iran is competing with space technology pioneers such as  Russia, China, and the US. This test launch could be the start of this exciting journey to see Iran become successful in space technology.

Iran is delighted at the successful test launch. This test aimed to achieve the technology for the solid-fuel engine. “For the first time in the country’s space field, the first research launch of the hybrid Zuljanah satellite carrier was conducted with the aim of below-orbit testing through achieving the technology for the most powerful solid-fuel engine in the country, ” said Iran’s defense ministry’s space division spokesperson, Ahmad Hosseini.

Under President Joe Biden, America fears that this technology could pave the way for Iran to launch war weapons since the missile technology is similar to the SLV’s. “SLVs pose a significant proliferation concern because SLVs incorporate technologies identical to, and interchangeable with, those used in ballistic missiles, including longer-range systems,” the US spokesman added.

Iran has come forward to refute the US’s claims, saying that they will use the technology to boost business and does not go against any international pacts. The first successful satellite launch took place in April last year. The military reconnaissance satellite, known as Nour, elicited some disagreements with Trump’s administration leading to the US sanctioning Iran.

Current US head, Joe Biden, aired the same concerns as Trump. However, he is ready to sit down with Iran and reach a solution based on the 2015 nuclear accord negotiated under his former boss, Barack Obama. After the successful launch, the satellite carrier will carry operational satellites into orbit, which will be launched from mobile launching pads.