President: Iran to launch first telecom satellite soon

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced Saturday that his country is to send its first remote sensing telecommunication satellite into space in the near future, local Press TV satellite channel reported.

    Ahmadinejad made the announcement in an address in the city of Arak, capital of Iran's central province of Markaz.

    "The Islamic Republic has now developed the technology to build satellites and will use its advanced technology to launch its first remote sensing telecommunication satellite into space," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.

    Sanctions have been proved ineffective in obstructing Iran's march of progress, he said, adding that the country's homemade satellite is of the most advanced technology of its kind.

    Iran's first homemade satellite carrier Safir will help the satellite reach a speed of 8,000 meters per second, the highest speed satellites can reach, he further explained.

    Ahmadinejad also cautioned global powers that their sanctions would only make the Iranian nation more determined to reach its goals.

    On Wednesday, Iranian Space Organization chief Reza Taghipour said Iran will send its first astronaut to space within the following decade.

    Iran announced Sunday that it successfully launched a home-made satellite-carrier rocket named Safir (messenger). Safir is Iran's first domestically made satellite carrier, capable of putting lightweight satellites into low earth orbit.

    Iran, embroiled in a standoff with the West over Tehran's disputed nuclear ambitions, has pursued a space program for several years, according to local media.