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Russia to launch Iranian satellites
Posted: Thu, Feb 3, 2005, 8:31 AM ET (1331 GMT)
Russia will launch two small Iranian satellites this year as part of a larger deal to build and launch an Iranian communications satellite, Russian media reported Wednesday. Russia officials reported over the weekend that Russia would build and launch a communications satellite, Zohreh. However, on Wednesday Russian media revealed that the deal also includes the launch of two small Iranian satellites, Mesbah and Sinha-1; the two satellites will be launched on a Kosmos 3M booster from Plesetsk in the second quarter of 2005. Mesbah was built by an Italian company, Carlo Gavazzi Space, while Sinah-1 is believed to be a domestically-built satellite. Iran reportedly planned to launch the satellites itself on a modified Shahab missile that could also be used against Israel or other nations in the region. Russian officials said that by launching the satellites on a Russian vehicle instead of an Iranian one gives Iran "some security against a US strike".
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