Iran’s Revolutionary Guard on Saturday launched a new satellite-carrying rocket, state TV reported, seeking to demonstrate the hard-line force’s prowess even as anti-government protests rage across the country.
Iran launched a solid-fueled rocket Tuesday evening (local time) in what it claimed was a successful test of a new space launch vehicle. It aired dramatic footage of the rocket blasting off from a desert launch pad into a cloudy sky.
The report did not reveal the location, which resembles Iran’s northeastern Shahroud Desert.
Iran’s state-run news agency reported that the carrier will be able to launch a satellite weighing 80 kilograms into orbit some 500 kilometers from Earth.
Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Guard’s aerospace division, said he hopes the Guard will soon use the rocket to put a new satellite, named Nahid, into orbit
Iran has said its space program is peaceful and aimed at scientific research.
Some Western countries have long been suspicious of the programs because it could be used to develop long-range missiles.
Previous launches have faced rebuffs from the United States
Three researchers were killed when a fire broke out at the Imam Khomeini Space Centre in February 2019
Former President Donald Trump later got into the space race, when a launchpad rocket explosion occurred in his orbit.
During the seventh week of protests, the announcement of the guard came, which was the result of the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. She had been held since the violation of the dress code by her female friend.
The protests began over women not being allowed to wear the full hijab, but soon became one of the biggest challenges to the government since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Pro-democracy protesters are chanting for the overthrow of the clerical regime and the death of the supreme leader.
Paramilitary groups have cracked down on the protests, killing over 300 people, including 41 children.
A number of Iranian students have protested in at least six major universities across the country on Saturday.Q:
Universities have always played an important role in shaping modern society.
Saturday, Iran’s currency, the rial, reached its lowest point ever against the US dollar.
A major protest erupted in the southeastern Sistan and Baluchestan provinces on Friday, resulting in a deadly response from security forces.
At least 16 people have been killed by security forces in the village of Gharein in central Pakistan, according to the advocacy group HalVash.
Iran’s Sunni cleric, Mowlavi Abdolhamid Esmailzadeh, called the bloody violence in Sistan and Baluchestan a “bloody disaster.” He said the security forces opened fire on those who had been chanting slogans and throwing stones.
The judicial system of Sistan and Baluchestan said on Saturday that 620 people had been arrested in the province during the unrest, and 45 people were being tried for damage to public property and inciting youth to protest.