Tehran has announced that its new Najm (star) Noor-III (light) imaging satellite has successfully reached orbit.
The satellite entered orbit 450 kilometers (280 miles) above the surface of the Earth, Iranian Communication Minister Isa Zarepour said, adding that it was launched with a homegrown satellite carrier called “Qassed.”
The satellite was launched by the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) Aerospace Force.
IRGC commander Major General Hossein Salami hailed the successful launch, and said data, information and images taken by the new satellite will be gathered to fulfill “the IRGC’s intelligence requirements,” the semi-official Tasnim News Agency reported.
Najm is equipped with imaging devices that have higher quality and resolution, Salami said.
The IRGC launched the first Iranian military satellite, Noor-I, in April 2020, and the Noor-II in March 2022. All three were sent into orbit by the Qassed satellite carrier.
The United States warned that the move violates the United Nations Security Council sanction banning ballistic missile activity that can create a delivery system for nuclear weapons.
American intelligence personnel said last year that such a satellite vehicle “shortens the timeline” to an intercontinental ballistic missile, since similar technology is used for both.