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Iran Launches Its Nour-3 Satellite Into Space

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By successfully placing the Nour-3 satellite into orbit on September 27, 2023, Iran made another significant advancement in its space exploration efforts. This achievement not only highlights Iran’s expanding space capabilities, but it also adds new tools to its remote sensing and surveillance arsenal.

Nour 3 satellite had been successfully placed into an orbit of 450 kilometers from Earth. Issa Zarepour, telecoms minister said, ‘’the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force had carried out the launch using the home-made Ghassed launch vehicle’’.

It is critical to understand that the Nour-3 satellite launch takes place against a challenging geopolitical environment. Regarding claims that it was developing nuclear weapons and funding terrorist organizations, Iran has come under intense international scrutiny. This satellite launch may be seen by some observers as an indication of Iran’s growing military power.  However, it is essential to note that Iran has consistently maintained that the Nour-3 satellite serves peaceful purposes exclusively.

Iran’s space program has not developed in isolation.  Countries commonly collaborate with or receive assistance from foreign partners on space technologies. Iran is no exception.

  • Russia: With a cooperative satellite launch in 2005, Russia has been a prominent collaborator, providing satellite components and rocket scientist training.
  • China: A space exploration cooperation pact inked in 2012 saw China provide Iran with components and training.
  • North Korea: There are claims that North Korea helped Iran develop its ballistic missile programme, which uses technology similar to that of satellite launchers.

Critics have expressed worry that Iran’s space programme could be used as a front for the development of long-range ballistic missiles with the ability to carry nuclear warheads. Iran fiercely refutes these accusations, claiming that its space programme only has peaceful goals.

In spite of the debate and skepticism from some quarters, Iran nevertheless seems determined to develop its space programme. The nation is becoming more significant in the field of space technology as seen by its advancements in satellite launch.  As space technology continues to evolve and diversify, Iran aims to remain a key player in this rapidly changing landscape.

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Aimen Jamil's intellectual curiosity lies at the intersection of Middle East and Pakistan Foreign Policy.

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Aimen Jamil
Aimen Jamil's intellectual curiosity lies at the intersection of Middle East and Pakistan Foreign Policy.

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