Omid launching (archives)
Photo: AFP
'Depriving the enemy of movement.' Vahidi
Photo: AP

Iran says to launch new satellite early next year

Defense Minister Vahidi says launch of 'Sunrise' sattelites will mark a 'big step for continued presence of Iran in space'

Iran plans to launch new satellites into orbit in February and March, 2010, Defense Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi told the semi-official Fars news agency Wednesday


"This satellite, which was built by Iranian scientists, is a big step for the continued presence of Iran in space and for taking advantage of the opportunities offered in this field," Vahidi said.


Vahidi did not give any details as to the capability of the Tolou satellites - which means "sunrise" in Farsi.


"Using these modern technologies, Iran's armed forces are capable of catching the enemies off guard, identifying their software and hardware potential and depriving the enemy of movement and maneuverability," Vahidi told Fars.


Last February Iran launched its first satellite, Omid. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hailed the launching as a "source of pride" for the Islamic republic.


On Wednesday state television reported that Iran had successfully test-fired a long-range, improved Sejil 2 missile, an announcement likely to add to tension with the West.


Al-Alam, Iran's Arabic-language satellite television, said the Sejil missile had a longer range than the Shahab missile, which Iranian officials in the past have said can reach targets 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) away.


That would put Israel and US bases in the Gulf within reach.


The missile test coincided with increased tension over Iran's nuclear program, which the West fears is aimed at making bombs. Iran denies the charge.


Reuters contributed to the report 


פרסום ראשון: 12.23.09, 21:49
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