Iran launches its Soraya satellite, amidst the escalating regional tensions

According to an Associated Press analysis of the footage, the launch happened on the outskirts of the city Shahroud, which is about 350 kilometers east of the capital, Tehran, at the Guard’s launch pad.

Iran announced the successful launch of its Soraya satellite, placing it into its highest orbit yet at approximately 750 kilometres above Earth. The launch, conducted by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as part of its space program, has drawn criticism from Western nations, which express concerns over the possible enhancement of Iran’s ballistic missile capabilities.

The announcement comes at a time of escalating tensions in the region, with Iran asserting its technological advancements amid longstanding criticisms from Western powers. Five guards and an unspecified number of Syrian troops were killed in a missile strike on a building that was used as a bade of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards in Damascus, Syria, on Saturday.

According to the state-run IRNA news agency, the Soraya satellite of Iran was placed in an orbit about 750 kilometres just above the surface of the Earth along with its three-stage Qaem 100 rocket. Isa Zarepour, who is the telecommunications minister, explained that the launch was having a 50-kilogram payload. The report asserted that the launch was a part of the Revolutionary Guards’ space program of Iran and also the civilian space program of Iran.

The footage released by the media Iran showed that the rocket blasted off from a mobile launcher, along with a religious verse that was referring to Shiite Islam’s 12 hidden imams written on its side. The international community, grappling with the implications of Iran’s latest space achievement, now faces a renewed challenge in managing tensions in the Middle East.

According to an Associated Press analysis of the footage, the launch happened on the outskirts of the city Shahroud, which is about 350 kilometres east of the capital, Tehran, at the Guard’s launch pad. Reportedly all the recent successful satellite launches have happened at the site.

Regarding Iran successfully putting the satellite in orbit, there was no independent confirmation. The United States previously asserted that the satellite launches of Iran defied the Security Council resolution of the United Nations. It also called Tehran to undertake no activity that involves ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

The worldwide threat assessment for the previous year by the US intelligence community claimed that the development of satellite launch vehicles shortened the timeline for Iran to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile. It is because it uses the same technology. Over the past few decades, Iran has launched many short-lived satellites into orbit, and in the year 2013, it launched a monkey into space.