New Iranian Space Law
July 9, 2008 at 2:00 pm
Parviz Tarikhi heads the Microwave Remote Sensing Department at the Mahdasht Satellite Receiving Station. He has been involved with the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) since 2000, including as second vice-chair and rapporteur in 2004-06 of the committee bureau. Since 2001 he has co-chaired Action Team number 1 of UNISPACE-III with the mission ‘to develop a comprehensive worldwide environmental monitoring strategy’. From 2004-07 he conducted the Office for Specialized International Co-operation of the Iranian Space Agency. He is also a freelance journalist and technical writer.
by Parviz Tarikhi, guest blogger
The important role of space science and technology in the destiny of humankind, as well as its immediate and continuous impact on sustainable development of various aspects of societies, is evident. It is because of this vital reason that Iran joined the U.N. Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) as one of its first 18 members in 1958. In recent decades this was followed by intensive activities in this field including establishment of research centers and several academic aerospace institutions. However, the increasing demand in this respect was felt by the authorities that led to the final approval of a bill submitted by the Government to the Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran to establish a new regime for outer space issues. After necessary evaluation the final approval was issued by the Parliament in the form of new law on 10 December 2003. It received the approval of the Guardian Council of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran on 18 June 2005. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran officially took the first step in implementing the new law on 1 February 2004 by assigning the first President of a new establishment named the Iran Space Agency (ISA). The new Agency is now on the way towards establishing its organizational structure. To continue further development and implementation of the statutes and bylaws of the Iranian Space Agency, the Council of Ministers of the Islamic Republic of Iran approved amendments to the existing law on 15 June 2008. That was followed by the investigations of the Guardian Council and led to final approval on 2 July 2008.
These actions are believed to be a long and practical step forward not only towards concentrating the country’s efforts in advancing relevant science and technology for effective use of outer space for peaceful purposes but also to enhance Iran’s cooperation at the international level for such important purposes.
ISA authority includes and supports all the activities in the Islamic Republic of Iran concerning the peaceful applications of space science and technology under the leadership of the Supreme Council chaired by the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The relevant core part of the approved bill is as follows:
“Aiming at applying space technology and peaceful uses of outer space, and protecting national interests and sustainable exploitation of space science and technology for economic, cultural, scientific and technical development of the country, the Space Supreme Council with the leadership of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran is established. The Council’s main goals include,
I. Policy making for the application of space technologies aiming peaceful uses of outer space
II. Policy making in manufacturing, launching and use of the national research satellites
III. Approving the space related programs of state and private institutions and organizations
IV. Approving long and short-term programs of country’s space sector
V. Promoting the partnership of the private and cooperative sectors in efficient uses of space
VI. Identifying guidelines concerning the regional and international cooperation in space issues and clarifying the position of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the above-mentioned bodies”
To follow and implement the strategies authorized by the Space Supreme Council, the ISA is affiliated with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. But it is organized in the form of an autonomous organization. The President of ISA holds the position of the Vice-Minister of Communications and Information Technology. The secretariat of Space Supreme Council is based in the ISA, and the President of the ISA acts as the Secretary and Member of the Space Supreme Council at the same time.
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