After report of successful test, Iran prepares to launch real satellite into space. Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar reportedly said Monday that his country was ready to launch a "national satellite" into orbit in the near future.
The Fars news agency quoted Najjar as saying that Sunday's launching of a dummy satellite into orbit on home-grown rocket was successful. "Our experts are capable of launching the national satellite into space in the not so far future," he stated.
The defense minister added that "the missile launched was accurate and guided. This missile can carry a satellite outside the atmosphere and release it at a certain point in a pre-determined route, allowing it to move around earth in the planned route."
Najjar stressed that all the systems involved in the launching were developed in Iran by local experts.
The defense minister praised Iran's manufacturing abilities, saying that "this missile is the result of a local manufacture. It contains several thousands of particles from the local industry and its two engines were produced by Iranian engineers and industry workers."
'We'll help launch Arab satellites'
Najjar went on to attack the West, claiming that "these days we are witnessing the success of the Iranian nation's sons in reaching the ability to infiltrate space.
"The enemies of the Iranian nation's progress, welfare and happiness are naturally not saving any efforts to block this holy road, attempting to turn any scientific and technical Iranian activity for peaceful purposes into a military issue, through imaginary accusations."
Apart from the self-production, Tehran also plans to become a regional technological superpower. "Iran is ready to launch the satellites of friendly Islamic countries into space," said the head of the Islamic Republic's space agency, Reza Taghipoor.
According to Taghipoor, Iran plans to build additional satellites and launch them into orbit by 2010.
The United States on Sunday night expressed its concern over the Iranian experiment, saying Tehran may take advantage of its satellite-related knowledge in order to upgrade its long-range missiles.
Western experts say that Tehran seldom provides details on its space plan, and therefore it is hard to determine the progress it has made in this field. According to the experts, most of the Iranian ability is based on a technology it received from China, North Korea and other countries.