Economy, Sci & Tech

Iran Wants Telecoms Satellite Back

Iran Wants Telecoms Satellite Back
Iran Wants Telecoms Satellite Back

Efforts are underway to take back Mesbah satellite seized by Italy during the sanctions period, the head of Iran Space Agency said.

“Iranian researchers are now studying the options of launching Mesbah satellite into the orbit,” Mohsen Bahrami was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

Italy refused to hand back the satellite to Iran after both teams jointly developed the low orbiting vehicle in 1998.  

Iran's Mesbah satellite was built in collaboration with Italy's Carlo Gavazzi Space S.p.A in 1998 and was unveiled in 2005.

Mesbah, a low earth orbit telecommunications satellite, was never launched as both Russia and Italy refused to continue cooperation with Iran on space projects due to the sanctions. Iran has been making extensive efforts to reconnect to its former science partners since sanctions were removed earlier in January.

Earlier in March, Iran and seven member states of the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization announced plans to jointly design and build a remote sensing satellite.

Abolqasem Naqqash, Iran’s representative at APSCO, told Mehr News Agency at the time that Iran, in addition to holding the organization’s presidency, was also pursuing cooperation on various projects with other member states.

He further said one such project was the construction of a miniaturized satellite, stating that the general outlines of the project have been approved by APSCO.

Naqqash noted that universities of China, Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Mongolia and Peru have stated their readiness to participate in the satellite project.

“In the joint student satellite project, the participating teams intend to build two ‘CubeSats’ and a ‘Microsatellite’,” he said.

Earlier in the year, Iran was reportedly taking preliminary steps toward leasing or buying commercial satellites and acquiring related technologies.

Providers of satellite services and hardware on both sides of the Atlantic were believed to be making maneuvers to land business in Iran. The country has started recruiting western advisers to pave the way for such deals, which could include using satellites already in orbit, according to some of these officials.