Iran's Technology Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi says the "Zafar satellite" will be launched by the end of this week, a programme the US sees as camouflage for Tehran's missile development.
Hundreds of thousands of Iranians across the country attended events marking the 40th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution, where the rallying cry ranged from "Death to America" to "Death to Israel".
Images released by the Colorado-based company DigitalGlobe suggest a rocket launch was conducted at the Imam Khomeini Space Center in Iran's Semnan province between Tuesday and Wednesday.
According to a respected think tank, recent satellite imagery shows that work has started on dismantling a building used to assemble space-launch vehicles and a nearby rocket engine test stand at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station.
The star will be the brightest object in the night sky and remind people of their precarious place in a vast universe, says the founder of the company that launched the glinting sphere into orbit.
The rocket was carrying a weather satellite and other equipment took off in the Amur region near the Chinese border.
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