Iran’s Space Program Won’t Get Off the Ground While Under Sanctions

A picture released by the Iranian government claiming to show the launch of a Simorgh satellite-carrying rocket at an undisclosed location, Iran (Iranian Defense Ministry photo via AP Images).
A picture released by the Iranian government claiming to show the launch of a Simorgh satellite-carrying rocket at an undisclosed location, Iran (Iranian Defense Ministry photo via AP Images).

After a four-year pause, Iran resumed its satellite program earlier this year, although two attempted launches in January and February both failed, followed by a third failed launch in late August. Together, they are a major setback for a space program that has long been hampered by the strains of international sanctions, including the ones these tests provoke, like the latest U.S. sanctions on Iran’s space agencies imposed this week. Even though a failed test is an opportunity for Iranian engineers to troubleshoot their rocket designs, the series of failures this year demonstrate the challenges that Iran must overcome before […]

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