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. Iran, Russia Sign 'Zohreh' Satellite Deal

Illustration of the Zohreh satellite.
Tehran (IRNA) Jan 31, 2005
Iran and Russia here Saturday signed an agreement on the design, consultations, testing and lift off of 'Zohreh' satellite.

The agreement was signed between Chairman of the Board of Directors of Iran Telecommunication Company Ahmad Moqaddam, deputy director of Russian Federal Space Agency (Rosaviakosmos) and managing director of 'Avia Exports of Russia.'

The satellite will have the capability of telephone communication and fax link, transmission of data and broadcast of radio and television programs throughout the country and will have 12 transponders.

The construction and lift off the satellite is estimated to take 30 months after opening of the letter of credit.

The Head of Russian Space Agency official said the project is a joint cooperation between Iran, Russia, Germany and France and possibly some other nations in the future.

"The technology used in the non-military satellite is more advance than many of the current ones under-construction," He added.

Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Head of Iran's Space Agency Hassan Shafti here in December said that Mesbah Satellite built jointly by the ministries of Science, Research and Technology and ICT based on the foreign technology will be launched after March.

Speaking to reporters, he added that the satellite's final phase is currently being designed and that the project will cost around 10 million dollars in total.

Turning to another multi-purpose small satellite currently being designed, he said that the project aiming to transfer related technology and research potentials to Iran is being worked out in close collaboration with China and Thailand.

"The multi-purpose small satellite costing 44 million dollars is scheduled to be launched in 2006. Iran will shoulder 6.5 million dollars of the related expenses.

"The satellite has many potentials and its construction will increase the national power and improve the lifestyles of future generations," he added.

Reiterating the need to make further investment in satellites, he stated that currently the revenues gained by satellites throughout the world have increased by 50 percent.

In response to a question about Zohreh satellite, he said that it will respond to the telecommunications demands of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).

Asked about the reason for the delay in buying a complete satellite before access to technology for producing them domestically, he replied that possessing satellites without the proper related grounds will not have much effect on national development.

"Some European countries make use of satellite technology without possessing any.

"Similar to Western societies, satellite should also be used in various sectors in Iran, including the Internet, telecommunications, crisis management, public health, radio and television," he added.

Source: Iran News Agency

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Cat And Mouse Game Over Iran
New York (UPI) Jan 26, 2005
The U.S. Air Force is playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse with Iran's ayatollahs, flying American combat aircraft into Iranian airspace in an attempt to lure Tehran into turning on air defense radars, thus allowing U.S. pilots to grid the system for use in future targeting data, administration officials said.
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