Iran Tuesday conducted one of at least two satellite launches, but it failed to reach the necessary speed in the third stage for entering orbit, Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi told Iranian state television. He did not elaborate on the problem. The satellite, Payam (meaning “message”), was boosted by a Shehab-6 long-range ballistic missile which has a range of 6,000km. The minister said that the second one, Doosti (meaning “friendship”) “is waiting for orbit.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that Iran’s space plans defy a UN Security Council resolution that calls on Iran to refrain from activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Iran insists the launches do not violate the resolution. DEBKAfile: Western intelligence circles suspect that Tehran deliberately announced the failure of the Payam in order to highlight the success of the Doosti when it is fired next.