Minister: Iran to Reclaim Mesbah Satellite from Italy


TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran will take back a satellite seized by Italy due to the sanctions regime imposed over its peaceful nuclear program, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi said.
"Italy seized the satellite for issues related to the sanctions regime and we are in the process of reclaiming it," Vaezi told reporters in Tehran on Sunday.
In relevant remarks last October, Head of the Iranian Space Organization Mohsen Bahrami said talks were underway with Rome over the returning of the Mesbah satellite.
“Because of the sanctions, the Mesbah satellite has been held under seizure by Italy for three years now, and (currently) we are engaged in talks to take it back,” said the top space official.
He said the satellite was designed and developed over 10 years ago in cooperation with an Italian company. However, the satellite, which was at the disposal of Italy for its final test, did not get the chance to be launched into space due to the sanctions.
He said the satellite was originally supposed to be launched into space by Russians and then Indians, but “this did not happen because of the sanctions, and the Mesbah satellite has not been launched (into space) yet”.
Iran has, itself, taken long strides in recent years to develop its space industry and to build different types of satellites and explorers.
In February 2015, Iran’s domestically-made National Fajr (Dawn) Satellite was launched into orbit and started transmitting data to its stations on earth.
Equipped with GPS navigation system, Fajr, weighing 52 kilos, is the fourth Iranian-made satellite which was put into orbit after three others between 2009 and 2012.
After Iran launched its first locally-built satellite, Omid (Hope), in 2009, it put two other satellites including, Rasad (Observation), and Navid-e Elm-o Sanat (Harbinger of Science and Industry) into space.