Iran confirms rocket launch went wrong, says communication satellite still intact
dpa, Hamburg, Germany
Iran confirmed on Monday that an explosion had taken place at its launch site in central Semnan, but said the “accident has nothing to do with the start of our communications satellite.”
Government spokesman Ali Rabiei added that no one had been killed in the explosion, according to the government portal Pad Dolat.
Private US satellite operators first reported spotting the explosion, which on Thursday is said to have destroyed the rocket that was supposed to carry the Nahid-1 communications satellite into space.
On Saturday, Iran invited reporters to the space centre in Tehran to assure them that the communications satellite was still intact.
After two failed attempts this year, Iran is planning a new satellite launch for late September. Tehran says the satellite will gather data on weather and agriculture and not be used for military purposes.
US President Donald Trump tweeted a picture of the apparent damage at the site on Friday and denied there was any US involvement.
The United States and Israel have expressed criticism over Iran’s desire to launch the satellite, fearing that Tehran could use the technology to build long-distance rockets for military purposes.
©2019 Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)
Visit Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany) at www.dpa.de/English.82.0.html
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.