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Iranian satellite fails to reach orbit, but test draws United States condemnation

Iranian satellite fails to reach orbit, but test draws United States condemnation

Iran considers its space programme "a matter of national pride", although an exact number of nuclear weapons is not known.

Israel and United States are concerned about Iran using its space initiative to advance its ballistic-missile program. It was meant to be used for imaging and communications purposes and orbit at an altitude of 500 km (310 miles), according to a report on the ministry's website.

Iran's bid to launch a satellite has failed, Telecoms Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi said on Tuesday, after it ignored US warnings to avoid such activity.

Rouhani did not name the second satellite but said both were manufactured at Tehran's Amirkabir University of Technology.

"We will do our best to place it in the orbit", he said.

In a subsequent statement, Pompeo said the launch furthered Iran's ability to eventually build an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on January 3 that the launch of such a satellite "would once again demonstrate Iran's defiance of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231, which calls upon the Iranian regime not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons".

"In the coming days we will launch two satellites into space", President Hassan Rouhani said during a trip to the northeastern Golestan province.

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The Payam and the Doosti were both created to gather information on environmental change in Iran, President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday.

Iran usually displays space achievements in February during the anniversary of its 1979 Islamic Revolution. This year will mark the 40th anniversary of the revolution, which saw the Persian monarchy of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi replaced by the Islamic Republic overseen by a Shiite cleric.

Iran insists the launches do not violate United Nations resolutions aimed at curtailing its rocket programs.

Under the UN Security Council resolution that enshrined Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers - which Washington pulled out of last spring - the country is "called upon" to refrain from work on ballistic missiles created to deliver nuclear weapons for up to eight years.

"The satellite is part of a civil project with purely scientific aims". The Payam, which means "message" in Farsi, was an imagery satellite that Iranian officials said would help with farming and other activities.

"Iran will wait for no country's permission to conduct such scientific projects".

Iran has launched several short-life satellites into orbit over the past decade, including the Simorgh and the Pajouhesh.