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Revolutionary Guard launches Iran’s first military satellite

Tehran: Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard says it has launched a military satellite into orbit amid wider tensions with the United States, describing it as a successful launch after months of failures.

This satellite image from Maxar Technologies, shows activity at the Imam Khomeini Space Centre in Iran's Semnan province in February.

This satellite image from Maxar Technologies, shows activity at the Imam Khomeini Space Centre in Iran’s Semnan province in February. Credit:AP

On its official website, the Guard said the satellite successfully reached orbit at 425 kilometres above the Earth’s surface. It called it the first military satellite ever launched by Tehran.

The two-stage launch took off from the Central Desert, the Guard said, without elaborating or saying when exactly. The paramilitary force said it used a Ghased, or “messenger” satellite carrier to put the device into space, a previously unheard-of system.

There was no immediate independent confirmation of the launch of the satellite, which the Guard called Noor, or light. The US State and Defence departments, which contend that such launches advance Iran’s ballistic missile program, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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