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Shamkhani: Iran will launch its own satellite within 18 months


Tehran, Jan 5, IRNA -- Iran will launch its locally-built satellite 
within one and half years, Defense Minister Rear-Admiral Ali Shamkhani
said here Monday, adding the launch will make the country the first in
the Islamic world to capture outer space. 
"Thus, Iran will be the first Islamic country to go into the 
space beyond the earth`s atmosphere with its indigenous satellite and 
launch pad system," he said at the opening of an aerospace 
Shamkhani hailed Iran`s aerospace achievements, saying "the 
aerospace capacity of the Islamic Republic is among the most genuine 
areas for bolstering the country`s deterrence force, which is acquired
through the cooperation of the defense industries and universities". 
"There was a time when the Persian Gulf was regarded as a launch 
pad of threats against the Islamic Republic, but today with the power 
Iran has acquired, this region cannot be used by any non-regional 
power against us," he added. 
Shamkhani described the launch as a victory against outside 
powers, which he said, have tried to clip Iran`s wings. 
"Since the early days of the construction campaign, some of the 
non-regional powers have tried to abort our country`s efforts to 
acquire advanced defense technology as well as peaceful nuclear 
capability and economic growth," he said. 
Iran` state telecommunications company had for long been seeking 
a foreign contractor to construct the country`s first independent 
Several entities, including from China, India, France and Russia 
had submitted proposals for the project, dubbed `Zohreh` which the 
press had cited once worth 300 million dollars, but none of them 
were ever pushed through. 
The project had been in the air since the 1980s. 
Iran, with a population of more than 65 million spread out on a 
territory of 1.6 million kilometers, is seeking to improve its 
communications system. 

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