Iran Revolutionary Guard launches rocket amid more protests

Nov 5, 2022, 7:18 AM | Updated: Nov 6, 2022, 4:09 am
This image taken from video footage aired by Iranian state television on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, sh...

This image taken from video footage aired by Iranian state television on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, shows the launch of a satellite carrier rocket by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard from an undisclosed desert location. Iran’s powerful paramilitary Guard launched the rocket as nationwide protests continue to engulf the country. (Iranian state television via AP)

(Iranian state television via AP)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s powerful paramilitary Revolutionary Guard on Saturday launched a new satellite-carrying rocket, state TV reported, seeking to demonstrate the hard-line force’s prowess even as anti-government protests rage across the country.

Iranian state TV said the Guard successfully launched the solid-fueled rocket — what it called a Ghaem-100 satellite carrier — and aired dramatic footage of the rocket blasting off from a desert launch pad into a cloudy sky. The report did not reveal the location, which resembled Iran’s northeastern Shahroud Desert.

The state-run IRNA news agency reported that the carrier would be able to put a satellite weighing 80 kg (176 pounds) into orbit some 500 kilometers (310 miles) from Earth.

Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Guard’s aerospace division, said he hoped the Guard would soon use the rocket to put a new satellite, named Nahid, into orbit.

Iran says its satellite program, like its nuclear activities, is aimed at scientific research and other civilian applications. The United States and other Western countries have long been suspicious of the program because the same technology can be used to develop long-range missiles. Previous launches have drawn rebukes from the U.S.

The Guard operates its own space program and military infrastructure parallel to Iran’s regular armed forces and answers only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Over the past decade, Iran has sent several short-lived satellites into orbit and in 2013 launched a monkey into space. The program has seen recent troubles, however. There have been five failed launches in a row for the Simorgh program, another satellite-carrying rocket.

A fire at the Imam Khomeini Spaceport in February 2019 killed three researchers, authorities said at the time. A launchpad rocket explosion later that year drew the attention of former President Donald Trump.

The Guard’s announcement came in the seventh week of protests sparked by the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained after allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women.

The protests embroiling the country first focused on the state-mandated headscarf, or hijab, but swiftly morphed into one of the biggest challenges to the government since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Protesters chant for overthrowing the clerical rule and the death of Khamenei.

Security forces, including paramilitary volunteers with the Revolutionary Guard, have violently cracked down on the demonstrations, killing over 300 people, including 41 children, according to the Oslo-based Iran Human Rights.

On Saturday, student unions in Iran reported protests in at least six major universities across the country. Universities have been hubs for unrest, fueling the protest movement despite the crackdown.

Anger over Iran’s sickly economy, suffocated by U.S. sanctions and years of mismanagement, has also driven people into the streets. Talks to revive Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, which granted Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for strict curbs on its atomic program, hit a deadlock months ago.

On Saturday, Iran’s currency, the rial, plunged to its lowest value ever against the dollar. Iran’s currency was trading at 360,000 rials to the dollar, compared to 32,000 rials to the dollar at the time of the 2015 nuclear accord.

The southeastern Sistan and Baluchestan province was gripped by unrest on Friday, drawing a lethal response from security forces. Advocacy group HalVash claimed security forces killed at least 16 people.

Iran’s prominent Sunni cleric Mowlavi Abdolhamid Esmailzehi on Saturday condemned the violence in Sistan and Baluchestan as another “bloody disaster,” saying that security forces opened fire on protesters who were only “chanting slogans and throwing stones” outside the governor’s office.

The judiciary of Sistan and Baluchestan announced Saturday that 620 people had been arrested in the province during the unrest, with 45 people sentenced so far on charges of damaging public property and encouraging youth on social media to join protests.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

This grab from video released by Adani Enterprises Ltd. on Thursday, Feb.2, 2023 shows Indian billi...
Associated Press

Indian tycoon Adani hit by more losses, calls for probe

NEW DELHI (AP) — Losses for the troubled Adani Group, India’s second-largest conglomerate, deepened on Friday as shares in its flagship company tumbled another 25%, extending over a week of declines that have wiped out tens of billions of dollars in market value. The debacle, which led Adani Enterprises, the group’s flagship company, to cancel […]
3 hours ago
A person wearing a protective mask walks in front of an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikk...
Associated Press

Global shares trade mixed ahead of US jobs report

TOKYO (AP) — Global shares were trading mixed Friday ahead of a closely watched U.S. jobs report that may affect global interest rates. France’s CAC 40 lost 0.7% in early trading to 7,116.31, while Germany’s DAX dipped 0.9% to 15,362.64. Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.2% to 7,832.20. U.S. shares were set to drift lower with […]
1 day ago
FILE - Travelers wearing face masks with their luggage head to the immigration counter at the depar...
Associated Press

China, Hong Kong scrap cross-border travel quota, COVID test

HONG KONG (AP) — Travel between Hong Kong and China will no longer require COVID-19 PCR tests nor be held to a daily limit, authorities announced Friday, as both places seek to drive economic growth. Hong Kong’s tourism industry has suffered since 2019 after months of political strife that at times turned into violent clashes […]
1 day ago
Peter Ellingwood delivers heating oil, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, in Farmington, Maine. On Friday, the...
Associated Press

January may have delivered lower, if still solid, job growth

WASHINGTON (AP) — The American economy has an unusual problem: The job market looks too strong — at least to the inflation fighters at the Federal Reserve. Companies are still seeking more workers and are hanging tightly onto the ones they have. Putting aside some high-profile layoffs at big tech companies like Microsoft, Google, Amazon […]
1 day ago
FILE - Attendees walk past a booth advertising 5G telecommunications services at the PT Expo in Bei...
Associated Press

Chill pervades China’s tech firms even as crackdown eases

HONG KONG (AP) — A grinding crackdown that wiped billions of dollars of value off Chinese technology companies is easing, but the once-freewheeling industry is bracing for much slower growth ahead. Analysts say China’s easing of restrictions on companies like e-commerce giant Alibaba and online games company Tencent and talk of support for the private […]
1 day ago
Australia's Nick Kyrgios, left, and Serbia's Novak Djokovic shake hands following an exhibition mat...
Associated Press

Kyrgios pleads guilty to assault, has no conviction recorded

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Nick Kyrgios had suffered severe depression, suicidal ideation and insomnia in the past, a psychologist told a court on Friday when the Australian tennis star pleaded guilty to pushing a former girlfriend to the ground two years ago. The 2022 Wimbledon runner-up pleaded guilty in the Australian Capital Territory Magistrates Court […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Iran Revolutionary Guard launches rocket amid more protests