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EghtesadOnline: ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi and directors of Iran’s space program kick-started a weeklong event that coincides with World Space Week.

In a series of events, starting with the Saturday gathering in Tehran, Iranian authorities will highlight the latest developments in the country’s space program and provide local tech firms active in the sector with a platform to showcase their services.

Addressing the gathering, Jahromi quoted a dialogue from the American movie “Interstellar” calling on participants to think big and set their sights on the space horizons.

The futuristic movie pictures a time when dust storms and other calamities are torturing the earth. That is when Joseph Cooper, played by Matthew McConaughey, a former NASA pilot, and his team are sent to another galaxy in search of a habitable planet through a wormhole, according to Financial Tribune.

Jahromi quoted Cooper as saying, “We used to look up at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars. Now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt.”

The minister also pointed to the applications of space sciences. During the recent floods in Iran, satellite data gathered by Iran Space Agency helped policymakers form a better understanding of the damages and devise more efficient rescue and reconstruction plans.

“In collaboration with other nations, we’ll send an astronaut into space … and hopefully [by March 2021] Iran will put in orbit a satellite with a spatial resolution of 1 meter,” he added.



US Sanctions

Pointing to recent US sanctions imposed Iran’s peaceful space program, the minister said the embargo would not hamper Iran’s space program.

In early September, the United States imposed sanctions on Iran’s civilian space agency and two research organizations.

The US Treasury sanctions targeted ISA, Iran Space Research Center and Iran’s Astronautics Research Institute, according to a statement on its website.

At the time, Iran Space Agency’s Morteza Barari told Financial Tribune the country is set to file a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice against the US for “illegitimately imposing sanctions against Iran Space Agency.”

The ISA chief said, “The underhand US move impedes the implementation of goals set by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.”

UNOOSA is tasked with implementing the decisions of the UN General Assembly over the peaceful use of outer space.

Barari noted that “the imposition of illegal US sanctions, based on irrational arguments” is against international norms.

Calling space sciences and the country’s space program a strategic field, Barari said Iran has made remarkable headway in the field.

According to the ISA director, the space program includes satellite data analysis and “must play a pivotal role in countering natural and manmade disasters”.

Barari noted that space industries can contribute to the country’s economic development while stressing the pivotal role of satellite imagery and analysis in crop management.

“There is no need to emphasize the importance of satellite data in navigation and trade,” he said.

Speaking at the Saturday event, Barari outlined plans for developing three satellites in the coming months.

Hossein Samimi, the head of Iranian Space Research Center, said the recently imposed US sanctions against Iran’s peaceful space program is doomed.


Iran ICT Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi space space program Celebrate World Space Week