Taghrib News Agency (TNA) 4 Feb 2019 - 13:38 http://www.taghribnews.com/en/news/400395/iran-marks-space-day-plans-building-advanced-satellites -------------------------------------------------- Title : Iran marks space day, plans building advanced satellites -------------------------------------------------- Iran has stressed the peaceful nature of its space program, denying there is any connection between its satellite launches and the national missile defense program. Text : The remarks by Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi came on the occasion of the National Space Technology Day. Addressing a ceremony in Tehran,Azari Jahromi dismissed the West attributingmilitary aspects to Iran s civil space program, including its satellite launches. The minister said two international organizations havemonitored Iran s space program and confirmed itspeaceful nature. Iran s space industry is facing US sanctions but the Islamic Republic has managed to overcome them by relyingon domestic capabilities and capacities, Azari Jahromi said. The US, he said, is trying to disrupt the program, while Europeans are refusing tocooperatewith Iran in the field. Iran is seeking further cooperation with other countries within the framework of space diplomacy as the country pursues a peaceful space technology, he added. Iran, Azari Jahromi said, is using space technology to improve thelives of its citizens and other people across the board. In this regard, the country regards sanctions not a threat, but and opportunity for development, he added. As an example, the minister cited the satellite Mesbah which Iran built in collaboration with Italy s Carlo Gavazzi Space SpA in 1998 but which took more than 10 years to launch by Europe. Iran launched its first homemade satellite, Omid (Hope), in 2009. Italso sent thefirst Iranian bio-capsule containing living creatures into space in February 2010, using a Kavoshgar (Explorer) carrier. In February 2015, Iran placedFajr (Dawn) into orbit, which was capable of taking and transmitting high-quality photos. Last month, the country launched Payam (Message) into space at an altitude of 500 kilometers(310 miles)for imaging and communications purposes. According to officials, the satellite performed without fault but the rocket which was carrying it didnot reach enough speed in the third stage, falling short of putting Payaminto orbit. Azari Jahromi said on SundayIran will in the coming weeks launch a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellitenamed Doosti (Friendship)that will provide accuracy within 10 meters. Within the next three years, Iran will build a new generation of satellites with an accuracy 40 times higher than that of Payam, he added. Following Payam s launch, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that the satellite launch had actually been part of Tehran s attempts to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo chimed in, claimingthat Iran was using the spacecraft launch as a cover for testing technology to lob a warhead at the US and other countries. Secretary of Iran s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhanidismissed those claims. He said Iran faced no scientific restraints for increasing the range of its missiles, but that the country s efforts were focused on improving their accuracy. KD