‘Sabotage’ Possible Reason For Satellite Launch Failures, Says Iran

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PKONWEB Report (New York/Dubai) — Iran’s bid to launch a second satellite in the past two months has failed, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview with NBC News published on Friday.

Zarif said sabotage by the U.S. is a possible reason.

Iran’s effort to launch a satellite last month also failed. Despite both failures, Zarif’s confirmation is likely to raise tensions with the United States, which is concerned the long-range ballistic technology used to send satellites into space could also be used to launch warheads.

The FM said Friday in the interview in Munich, Germany, that it’s possible there is a U.S. sabotage campaign against Iranian satellite launches.

Last week, images released by Colorado-based company DigitalGlobe showed that rockets previously spotted at the Imam Khomeini Space Center were gone, with what appeared to be burn marks on its launch pad.

“It’s quite possible. We don’t know yet,” he said. “We need to look into it very carefully.”

He confirmed that Iran suffered two failed attempts to launch satellites over the past two months.

Both attempts took place despite U.S. criticism that Iran’s space program helps the country develop ballistic missiles. Iran denies the charge.

Zarif told NBC the ‘same gang’ who pushed for Iraq War are ‘at it again’ by encouraging Trump administration to confront Tehran.

Current and former US officials told the New York Times the Trump administration had accelerated a George W. Bush-era program to sabotage Iran’s development of rockets and missiles.

A representative for the U.S. National Security Council did not immediately respond to a request for Reuters’ comment.

Iran views its space program as a matter of national pride. Tehran has denied that the space vehicle launches and missile tests violated a U.N. Security Council resolution.

Last month, Iran said a satellite it tried to launch did not reach adequate speed and failed.

Iran’s telecommunications ministry said at the time that the satellite, named Payam, was intended to be used for imaging and communications purposes for about three years.

Over the past decade, Iran has sent several satellites into orbit and in 2013 launched a monkey into space.

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