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Zohre project opens new prospects for Russia-Iran ties - view

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Moscow, Jan 31, Itar-Tass/ACSNA/IRNA -- The launch of the Iranian 
Zohre (Venus) will open new prospects for cooperation Russia and Iran,
Iranian Minister of Communication and Information Technology Ahmad 
Motamedi said in Tehran on Monday. 
The minister spoke at a ceremony of signing an agreement on the 
designing and launch of the first Iranian communications satellite 
Zohre. 
"We are satisfied with the results of the talks," Ahmad Motamedi 
said. 
"Up till now, Iran has had to lease satellite channels. Now we 
shall have national satellite communication, which we have been 
planning for almost 30 years," the minister emphasized. 
He said a high council for space research would be set up in the 
republic shortly. It will be subordinated directly to the president. 
The satellite will weight 850 kilograms. It will be equipped with 
16 relay systems, and will be put into the geo-stationary orbit at an 
altitude of 36,000 kilometers. 
In line with the agreement, Russia has committed itself to help 
build in Iran two stations, which will monitor the work of the 
satellite, as well as train personnel. 
The document was inked from the Russian side by the deputy head of
Russia`s federal space agency Roskosmos, Georgy Polishchuk, and the 
general director of the foreign economic company Aviaexport, Felix 
Myasnikov. 
The deputy minister for communication and information technology, 
Masoud Moqadas, and the general director of the State 
Telecommunications Company, Ali Asghar Hamidian, signed the document 
from the Iranian side. 
The contract is estimated at 132 million US dollars. The telecom 
satellite will be put to a geo-stationary orbit 30 months after the 
signing ceremony. 
According to local sources, Tehran intends to place a second 
similar order with Russia within a year after signing the Zohre 
accord. 
The purpose of the first Iranian satellite Zohre (Venus) will be 
purely civil, the deputy head of Roskosmos said. It belongs to the 
family of Express communication satellites of a new generation, which 
Russia produces for its own needs, Georgy Polishchuk said. 
He also said Zohre can be called an international satellite, as 
France and Germany will also supply component parts. Other countries 
may also take part in the project. 
The Reshetov science-and-production association of applied 
mechanics in Krasnoyarsk, which will be the main contractor, has 
designed over 1,000 satellites. "That is why there are absolutely no 
doubts that the Russian-Iranian project will be a success," the 
Russian official said. 
Myasnikov echoed him, expressing confidence that the contract will
be implemented qualitatively and timely. He believes the project will 
be a starting point for Russian-Iranian cooperation in space 
exploration as well as in other spheres of high technologies, in 
particular, in the aircraft industry. 
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