Iran blames technical malfunction for space centre rocket explosion
President Donald Trump had tweeted about the incident, denying any US involvement.
Iran has for the first time acknowledged that a rocket explosion took place at its Imam Khomeini Space Centre, with an official saying a technical malfunction caused the blast.
Government spokesman Ali Rabiei made the statement in comments broadcast by Iranian state television.
He said the explosion caused no fatalities and also that officials had found no sign that sabotage was involved 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. I wish Iran best wishes and good luck in determining what happened at Site One. pic.twitter.com/z0iDj2L0Y3— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 30, 2019
Satellite photos showed a rocket on a launch pad at the space centre had exploded on Thursday.
The space centre is located about 150 miles south east of the capital, Tehran.
President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted a surveillance photo likely taken of the site by an American spy satellite.
He wrote that the US had nothing to do with the blast.