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Iran Prepares Satellite Launch, Shelves Project To Send First Iranian To Space


File - Photo released by Iranian news agencies show Iran's satellite launch which ended in failure in January 2019.

Iran's Information Technology and Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Jahromi Azari says the country's communication satellite Nahid-1 will be ready for launch in two weeks.

He told reporters in Tehran on Wednesday July 31 that his Ministry will deliver the satellite to the Defense Ministry in two weeks.

Jahromi said that the defects that led to the abortion of the launch twice in February 2019 have been corrected.

Nahid-1 was said to be ready for launch in 2016 when President Hassan Rouhani first revealed the project.

Iran put its first communication satellite, Omid (Hope), into orbit in February 2018, using satellite carrier missile Safir.

A year later Iranian officials reported the "successful" launch of another satellite which carried a capsule containing live snakes and rats. No one knows what happened to the animals as Iran never reported on the results of the launch.

In 2013 Iran under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent a monkey to space and announced plans to send manned spacecraft into orbit, but the plan was shelved under President Rouhani for being too costly.

Ahmadinejad had promised to send the first Iranian astronaut into space before 2019.

The commander of Iran's revolutionary guards IRGC aerospace force Amir Ali Hajizadeh has previously accused the Rouhani administration of suspending the launch of a "ready to launch satellite carrying missile" fearing U.S. actions.

Hajizadeh branded the administration's decision as "humiliating."

Iran's Defense Ministry which is in charge of the country's space program has denied international accusations of Tehran using the space program as a cover for its ballistic missile program.

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