Iran has tested a new satellite-carrying rocket in a development that could irritate the United States.
General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace division which developed the Ghaem 100, said the rocket would be used to launch Iran’s Nahid satellite for the Ministry of Telecommunications, state media reported.
Saturday’s test should worry Washington, which fears the same long-range ballistic technology used to put satellites into orbit could also be used to launch nuclear warheads.
Iran regularly denied having such an intention.
The news comes as the country continues to see widespread protests and calls for change following the death of Mahsa Amini.
“The flight test of this satellite carrier with a solid-fuel engine…has been successfully completed,” state news agency IRNA reported.
Iran, which has one of the largest missile programs in the Middle East, has experienced several failed satellite launches in recent years, attributed to technical issues.
A UN resolution in 2015 called on Iran to refrain for eight years from working on ballistic missiles designed to carry nuclear weapons, following an agreement with six world powers.
Iran says it has never pursued the development of nuclear weapons and therefore the resolution does not apply to its ballistic missiles, which Tehran had described as an important deterrent and retaliatory force.