Jun 24, 2022
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On Tuesday, the head of Iran’s Space Agency (ISA) announced that his country is interested in working with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States.

At a press conference at the beginning of World Space Week,  Mohsen Bahrami said that “many in the world look at NASA’s programs. We are interested in having cooperation, naturally. When you are in orbit, there is no country and race.”

Bahrami also announced that Iran has begun negotiations on cooperating with other space agencies in Europe, Russia, China and Japan.

The ISA was established in 2004, making Iran an orbital-launch-capable nation in 2009, when they sent a dummy satellite into orbit. In 2013, Iran sent a monkey into space and set up its first space tracking center to monitor objects passing in orbit overhead. Iran is the ninth country to put a domestically-built satellite into orbit using its own launcher and the sixth to send animals in space. Bahrami said Iran plans to send three domestically-made mini-satellites into a low Earth orbit by early 2018.

Iran’s space program is controversial and has been condemned by Europe and the United States because the technology involved is similar to that needed for intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). The United Nations Security Council’s Resolution 2231 signed in 2015 forbids Iran from undertaking “any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology”. Iran has violated this agreement several times, most recently in October.