The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) successfully launched its second satellite, Noor-2, into space, according to state media outlets.

Iranian TV reported that the launch took place at the IRGC space base in the northeastern Shahroud Desert without specifying exactly when.

It comes as negotiations between Iran and world powers to revive the 2015 nuclear deal are wrapping up in Vienna, with what appears to be a favorable deal for Iran. The country’s top nuclear negotiator is expected to return to Vienna on Wednesday to finalize talks, following political consultations, according to Iran’s official news agency (IRNA).

IRNA quoted Iranian Minister of Information and Communication Technology Eisa Zarepour as saying that the first signals from the satellite were received after it reached a low orbit of 500 kilometers (310 miles) above the Earth’s surface on the Qased satellite carrier. The minister noted that Noor-2 is a reconnaissance satellite which is to revolve around the earth every 90 minutes.

Iran launched its first Noor satellite into orbit in 2020, and had two additional failed attempts earlier this month and in December.

Tehran insists that its satellite operations are meant for civilian and defense purposes only, but Israel and other western governments worry that satellite launch systems incorporate technologies used in ballistic missiles that are capable of delivering a nuclear warhead.

The latest launch is yet another testimony to Iran’s military advancement in the areas of unmanned aircraft and satellite technologies. Such capabilities are often used by Iran’s regional proxies; among them the Houthis in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon, threatening Israel and its Abraham Accords partners.

Share this article