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Rouhani moves space program back to ministry

Despite claims by conservative media outlets, President Hassan Rouhani's administration has not closed Iran's space program but returned its direction to the original ministry.
A picture shows the Iranian flag fluttering in front of a capsule, codenamed Pishgam (Pioneer), containing a live monkey at an unknown location on January 28, 2013, which Iranian news agencies said returned alive after travelling to an altitude of 120 kilometres (75 miles) for a sub-orbital flight. Iran took a "big step" towards sending astronauts into space by 2020, successfully launching a monkey above the Earth's atmosphere, Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi told state television. AFP PHOTO/IRNA/STR        (
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On Jan. 11, a number of conservative media outlets reported that President Hassan Rouhani had closed down a significant part of Iran’s high profile and much publicized space program. However, after Iran’s successful satellite launch on Feb. 3 and Rouhani’s televised statement that the space program will continue, an newspaper affiliated with the administration reported that news of the end of Iran’s space program were politically motivated attacks on the president.

Iran’s space program began in 2004 with parliament’s approval to operate under the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology under the leadership of the Supreme Council of Space, which is chaired by the president.

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