TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iranâ€™s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard said Wednesday it launched a military satellite into orbit amid wider tensions with the U.S., a successful launch after months of failures.
There was no immediate independent confirmation of the launch of the satellite, which the Guard called â€œNoor,” or light.
The Guard on its official said the satellite successfully reached an orbit of 425 kilometers (264 miles) above the Earth’s surface.
The two-stage satellite launch took off from Iranâ€™s Central Desert, the Guard said, without elaborating.
The launch comes amid tensions between Tehran and Washington over its collapsing nuclear deal and after a U.S. drone strike killed Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in January.
Iran has suffered several failed satellite launches in recent months.
On Sunday, the Guard acknowledged it had a tense encounter with U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf last week, but alleged without offering evidence that American forces sparked the incident.
Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Associated Press journalist Mehdi Fattahi in Tehran, Iran, contributed to this report.