Iran deploys first military satellite as tensions rise between Tehran and Washington

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard announced yesterday that it launched the country's first military satellite , Noor-1. On a technical level, this launch into orbit is a great first for Iran, in more ways than one. But the timing of this military launch also takes part in the declaratory strategy game between Tehran and Washington, and thus contributes to increasing tensions between the two countries.

After promising beginnings , with three successive launches between 2009 and 2012, the Iranian space program has accumulated failures. The last successful take off thus dates from 2015, with the launch of the small experimental Fajr satellite by a Safir-1B+ rocket having taken off from the Semnan space base. Since then, all launches have ended in failure, with the loss of a Safir rocket in February 2019, but also of the four new generation Simorgh rockets. The last launch of a Simorgh, on February 20, was failed to place Zafar-1 satellite into orbit due to too low speed.

Until now, the Safir rocket has been the only operational Iranian space launcher. However, it has not been successful since 2015.

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