Iran’s communication minister said Saturday "there will be good news” about launching a satellite until March, after recent reports about preparations at a launch site.
The Associated Press reported earlier this week that evidence points to Iran preparing a space launch and Iranian media offered a list of upcoming planned satellite launched.
In his first press conference, communication minister Issa Zarepour said that Iran’s space program was put on the backburner during former president Hassan Rouhani’s eight-year administration (2013-2021), but now its budget has increased. He added that the country needs a ten-year plan to expand its satellite program to put vehicles at a higher orbit.
Currently, Iran can reach 500 kilometers into space, which is considered a lower orbit. President Hassan Rouhani ordered officials to aim for the 36,000-kilometer orbit and increased the space program budget up to 12 times.
Foreign observers and governments have charged that Iran's space program is a cover to justify its testing of ballistic missiles. Israel and the United States have said that Iran's space program is against a UN resolution banning Iranian missiles with nuclear weapons capability.