Monday, February 9, 2009

Iran constructing four more satellites: report

TEHRAN, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mohammad Soleymani has said that Iran was constructing four more satellites, the local Mehr news agency reported on Sunday.
"Right now four more satellites are being constructed by the efficient Iranian experts," Soleymani was quoted as saying.
"The details of the satellites will be disclosed step by step at their final stage of preparation," he told the Mehr, adding that "With the capabilities attained, we are trying to raise the weight and the altitude of the satellites to be launched."
Talking about the status of Iran's Omid satellite in the orbit, he said that "This satellite is doing its mission and it has no specific problem. The satellite is sending signals to the stations on the earth."
Last Tuesday, Tehran announced that the Omid lightweight telecommunications satellite, its first home-made satellite, had been successfully sent into space by the Iranian-produced satellite carrier Safir 2, evoking the West's concern over its potential military purposes.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak urged Wednesday that the international community should tighten sanctions on Iran in light of its launch of the first home-made satellite.
The United States and Israel have consistently refused to rule out the possibility of military strikes against Iran over its refusal to halt its nuclear program, accusing Tehran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program.
Iran has denied the charges and insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.