File Photo: This picture, released by the official website of Iran s defence ministry on July 27, 2017, claims to show the launching of a satellite-carrying rocket in an undisclosed location in the country. AP
State TV said the Guard successfully launched the solid-fueled rocket, called the Ghaem-100 satellite carrier. Iranian state TV did not immediately show any footage of the launch.
The carrier would be able to put a satellite weighing 80 kg (176 pounds) into orbit some 500 kilometres (310 miles) from Earth, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.
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 U.S. and other Western countries have long been suspicious of the program because the same technology can be used to develop long-range missiles.
The announcement came amid protests that have embroiled the country for seven weeks calling for overthrowing the clerical rule. Security forces, including paramilitary volunteers with the Revolutionary Guard, have violently cracked down on the demonstrations, killing some 300 people, according to rights groups.