Iran successfully launches 3 satellites into space

Iran revealed Sunday it successfully launched three satellites into space after a series of failed launches.

Iran state media published a video of the nighttime satellite launch for the Simorgh rocket, The Associated Press reported. This comes as tensions are rising in the Middle East amid Israel’s war against the militant group Hamas in Gaza and as proxy groups like Yemen’s Houthi rebels launch attacks.

According to an AP analysis of the video, the launch occurred at the Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran’s Semnan province. The State TV reported the satellites were named Mahda, Kayhan-2 and Hatef-1, according to the AP.

State TV said Mahda was earmarked for research purposes, while the Kayhan and the Hatef are nanosatellites and are focused on global positioning and communication, according to the AP report. The wire outlet reported that the Mahda satellite sends signals back to Earth, according to Iran’s Information and Communications Technology Minister Isa Zarepour.

This comes after the Simorgh satellite program has already faced five failed launches, the AP noted. The satellite program has drawn criticism from Western countries, including the United States, who said that it may help Iran develop an intercontinental ballistic missile sooner because it uses a similar process.

Iran also successfully launched a satellite on Jan. 20 — a launch that the U.S. quietly acknowledged, according to AP.

The Associated Press contributed.

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