Iran says explosion at space center was technical

September 2, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei said on Monday that an explosion at Semnan Space Centre on August 29 was due to a technical fault.

The launch pad in northeast Iran had been vacant when explosion occurred, Rabiei said.

"The explosion was in the launch pad and a satellite had not yet been transferred there," Rabiei said.

"Fortunately, nobody was killed in this incident. It was a technical issue and experts agree on this and it's now clear how this happened."

He added that such incidents even happen repeatedly at technologically-developed countries.

In a tweet on August 30, Trump called the explosion a "catastrophic accident" alongside a high-resolution picture pointing to apparent damage at the site, AFP reported.

Trump said the U.S. had no role in the explosion.

"The United States of America was not involved in the catastrophic accident during final launch preparations for the Safir SLV Launch at Semnan Launch Site One in Iran," Trump said in the tweet.

Rabiei said a media propaganda campaign was launched to "convey that they (foes) are capable of infiltrating our organizations for espionage and sabotage but our experts don’t confirm it".

The government spokesman also hit out at Trump over his tweet. "We don't know why the U.S. president would... post a satellite photo, kind of treating the subject gleefully."

He added, "Fortunately, our knowledge in this field is increasing by the day," referring to the space program.

PA/NA

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