Mr. Ahmad Talebzadeh appointed Director General, Department of External Relations and Legal Affairs for Asian-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization in Beijing, China

February 10, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Posted in Space Law Current Events | 26 Comments

by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty

Source: Personal communication

Mr. Ahmad Talebzadeh, Director of Space Training and Research Center in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, and President of the Iranian Space Agency, has been appointed Director General, Department of External Relations and Legal Affairs for Asian-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO). His assumed his position at APSCO Headquarters in Beijing, China. Mr. Talebzadeh also serves as  Chair of the Legal Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space for 2010-2011.

Convention of the Asian-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization

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  1. Dear Sirs,
    As it can be seen in the CV of Mr. Talebzadeh that is freely accessible at the web address http://www.unoosa.org/pdf/limited/l/AC105_2008_CRP09E.pdf
    of COPUOS archive, if it takes place then it will be for the first time in the history of COPUOS that a non-expert works in the capacity of the chairman of the legal subcommittee of COPUOS. It is surprising that with the lack of background and experience in the international relations and the legal issues in general and space law in particular Mr. Talebzadeh is appointed as the Director General of the Department of External Relations and Legal Affairs of APSCO. Certainly the work of the Legal Subcommittee and APSCO’s legal department will be ill-affected by the leadership of Mr. Talebzadeh. Isn’t it better that the authorities of COPUOS and APSCO take further care and attention in appointing experienced and competent people for the above said posts?

  2. Sirs,
    COPUOS members and the authorities of APSCO which are responsible before its founding countries should be careful and aware of the background of Mr. Talebzadeh. In Iran he is known as the president of the Iranian Space Agency who was not obliged to the peaceful purposes of space applications and the one who paved the way for the presence of the non-civilian people in the agency. After takeover of the hardliner government in Iran in June 2005, Mr. Talebzadeh was appointed as the president of the agency. He offered the key and high posts of the agency that based on its statute is a civilian organization established for heading and promoting peaceful uses of outer space in the country to the non-civilian and incompetent persons all affiliated to the Guardian corps of the islamic revolution. The successor of Mr. Talebzadeh was a high rank officer of the guardian corps who presently works as Iran’s minister of communication. After appointment as the minister he left the presidency of the agency to his former assistant. Since then the agency is conducted by the non-civilian people who have occupied all the managerial and decisionmaking posts in the agency. Because of his kind services to the non-civilians they nominated Mr. Talebzadeh for the directorship of the Department of External Relations and Legal Affairs of APSCO.

    F. Shafaie (Ms.)
    Project officer formerly cooperating with the Iranian Space Agency
    Australia

  3. I saw the web site of Copuos http://www.unoosa.org/pdf/limited/l/AC105_2008_CRP09E.pdf.
    I don’t know what point in the cv caused the copuos members to agree to select A. Talebzadeh to work as the chair of the legal subcommittee for 2010-2011.
    I am an Iranian international relations scholar that now reside in Canada. I know the backgrounds in this relation. I am aware that there are many eligible and able Iranian space law experts, scientists and scholars in and out of the country who could have been nominated for the chairmanship of the legal committee. Unfortunately most of them now are kept in the margins, isolation or banishment as I know. It is not clear what could be the aim of nominating a non-expert from Iran to serve as the chair of legal subcommittee. It would not gain respect for the country for sure. certainly it’ll decrease the quality of the work of the legal subcommittee and cause objection of participating members. Almost everybody involved i Iran’s space issues know that Talebzadeh was emerged in course of the mendacity era in Iran that began since five years ago by takeover of the hardliners. He became the president of space agency of Iran only for his close liaison with the top authorities and security organs. trust that the legal subcommittee participants will see the realities about the chair of the legal subcommittee in the future meeting of the subcommittee in march and will judge. H.A. Amiri Canada

  4. Dear colleagues,
    Both the legal subcommittee of COPUOS and APSCO are specialized bodies involved with the space technology applications. It is really surprising that a non-expert Iranian official like Ahmad Talebzadeh is appointed to work in both of the above mentioned positions. I saw the cv of Mr. Talebzadeh in OOSA’s web site. It is the matter of regret that there are considerable number of able Iranian experts, specialists and scientist that are very eligible to take the positions mentioned above, but a poor quality official is appointed for the posts.
    It is clear that the legal subcommittee and APSCO’s international relations office will face serious fall of quality by the chairmanship and directorship of Mr. Talebzadeh.

    K. Taheri,
    Shah Alam, Malaysia

  5. First of all, my goal is not to comment on what would be the result of his service as the chairperson. But there are few points that I want to discuss:

    1- I ‘ve known Mr Talebzadeh for about 6 years now. While he served as the president of the space agency, I can for sure say that he is not even close to the hardliners in beliefs. He always tried to devote the agency to civil space. And he was not member of the guardian corps or their supporter. He did not want to work with the government of Mr. Ahmadinejad. While I agree that the Islamic Republic poliy is to fous on military uses, I believe Mr. Talebzadeh believes in peaceful uses. He even tried to keep the agency away from the military/guardian corps, but he did not succeed. later when he was replaced with the former president (current minister) he served as the director of ISA education centre, and he supported several student projects during that period.

    2- While his background is not in space law and policy, he has been in COPUOS so many years. He used to taught a course in Sharif University of Technology where he tried to make the students familiar with Space Law and Policy. I do not want to compare him to lawyers or international relations experts, but I do not think this makes him a bad chairperson. he also has several factors that would help him in chairing the legal subcommittee

    3- as one of his students strongly supporting civil uses of outer space, I hope he will be successful in both positions. He helped several students to gain insight and knowledge, and supported student projects in the space agency.

    • Backing the student projects or being instructor at the university is not the indication of competence. It is almost clear to everybody in Iran that the student projects is dummy for transfer of funds through the space agency to the universities. It is the same about the role of space agency in transferring big funds to the non-civilian bodies under the coverage of space and satellite projects. the important thing is: at what expense such the huge amounts of fund is distributed to the academic and non-civilian section?
      In terms of mendacity Mr. talebzadeh and the hardliner government are the same, both of the same belief and action.
      H.A

      • ,,

        Space technology applications are of dual use substantially. It is up to us to make a selection, and either pave the way, or place limitations and obstacles for each of these uses and orientations. It is more than wise to use such possibilities for the benefit of welfare and wellness of humanity – and for its sustainable development – at the national and global level. In the mean time, it should not be ignored that such achievements require a high degree of expertise, abilities and comprehensive knowledge about the subject. Highly specialized and talented human resources must emerge in each country, while the attitudes and visions of leaders of each nation who also influence and contribute to the pace, progress and developmental objectives of any nation’s space program should not be disregarded.
        Takeover of the presidency of ISA by Ahmad Talebzadeh in October 2005 was actually the beginning of the great deviation of the agency from the high and peaceful goals for which it was established in February 2004. Talebzadeh paved the way for presence of the non-civilians at the agency. They in turn dismissed him in July 2008 and the agency has been ruled completely by the guardian corps of Islamic Revolution since then. The next presidents of ISA, their deputies, managers and advisors have been all from GC and the security organizations. Certainly the history of the space endeavor in Iran will never talk about Talebzadeh with honor and pride. He has been explicitly a generous and devoted server to GC and security organizations. He therefore well rewarded by the non-civilian newcomers to ISA, who nominated him for the position of the APSCO director general for legal and international affairs.
        It is now the turn of the World Community to decide; to reject the people like Ahmad Talebzadeh, Reza Taghipour and his substitute who indeed represent GC, or keep indifference before them.

        M. K.
        Norway

    • Backing the student projects or being instructor at the university is not the indication of competence. It is almost clear to everybody in Iran that the student projects is dummy for transfer of funds through the space agency to the universities. It is the same about the role of space agency in transferring big funds to the non-civilian bodies under the coverage of space and satellite projects. the important thing is: at what expense such the huge amounts of fund is distributed to the academic and non-civilian section?
      In terms of mendacity Mr. talebzadeh and the hardliner government are the same, both of the same belief and action.
      Hussein Amiri

      • For completing this comment it is worth to add that in the early months of the year 2009, the president of the date of ISA, Reza Taghipour, allocated 3 million dollars of the agency’s financial sources to the presidential campaign for the benefit of the current president of I.R. Iran. It led to his direct launch from the post of the presidency of ISA to the higher position of the minister of the communications and information technology immediately after presidential elections. Unfortunately the financial sources of the agency in the recent counter-wisdom epoch have ever gone astray very clearly because of mismanagement and incompetence of the presidents of the agency.

        M. Rezvani

  6. Dear Sirs,
    I am one of the students of Mr.Talebzadeh in Amirkabir university of technology (Tehran Polytechnic),I have known him since 2005 when he was elected as president of IRAN SPACE AGENCY, and at that time he was teaching a space course in Aerospace department of Amirkabir university of technology called : “fundamentals of space science and technology” and “space law” was one of the most important concepts in this course,and because of that course, I became interested in “space law and space technology” , thus I took my Bsc thesis in aerospace engineering under his supervision which was about “space debris” in both technical view and legal points.and now I am one ke graduated student in aerospace engineering in Sharif university of technology,Tehran.
    but, reading these comments above, i am really surprised because as I said,i know Mr.Talebzadeh and I know that he is so knowledgeable in space science and technology and has an independent personality,and it’s about 2years that he doesn’t any relation to Iran’s Government.
    in addition to,it is clear that his activities always were in civil part of space technology and he didn’t have any responsibility or management position in “military” or any related organizations.he was my professor for 3 years and I think that, considering him as a member of Iran military is a big mistake!
    and I think the others who think adversely , do not know him truly.
    sincerely
    Mahdi saeedipour,Tehran

  7. For many days I see this as top post. The new chair of the legal subcommittee seems to be a person with disappointing and unfavorable background that I believe makes him ineligible for the post. His poor cv at OOSA’s web site http://www.unoosa.org/pdf/limited/l/AC105_2008_CRP09E.pdf
    sounds too disgraceful. There is no related thing in the cv to the space law. I wonder what would be the quality of conducting the subcommittee meeting sessions next couple of weeks. I believe that COPUOS and OOSA authorities should make urgent decision for substituting him by an able, competent and expert person.

    Raimundo Zelaya, Mexico

  8. I was Mr. Talebzadeh’s teaching assistance last spring at AmirKabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic) on a course titled: Fundamentals of Space Engineering. Although it was a technical course, Mr. Talebzadeh insisted on making use of this opportunity to also familiarize students with legal concepts. So we gave them about 30 different topics on various subjects of space law as their midterm papers. The outcome was beyond our expectations and as students admitted at the end of the semester, this was a great idea and they became aware of something which is of great use even in their future career once they become aerospace engineers. I was also his assistance in the organization of the second space law workshop hosted by Iran which was held in November 2009 through cooperation with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and watched closely how he is eager to motivate developing countries to focus more on legal issues arising as a result of their emerging space activities. I hope Mr. Talebzadeh will be able prove his capabilities in his new positions both at APSCO and UNCOPUOS.

  9. Mr. Talebzadeh earned his BSc in Electricity and Communications Engineering and MSc in Aerospace Engineering from University of Tennessee, the United States.
    He served as deputy director at Iran’s Remote Sensing Center (which later became one of the foundation offices of Iranian Space Agency) from 1996 to 2003 and since then cooperating with UNCOPUOS and actively participating in its meetings. He is one of the principle people responsible for the establishment of Iranian Space Agency and took an active part in compiling its charter and ratification by the Iranian Parliament. After the establishment of the Iranian Space Agency, he became its vice president and continued to participate actively in the meetings of UNCOPUOS, ITU, etc. as well as bilateral and multilateral cooperation with many countries.
    Mr. Talebzadeh’s collaborations with such international organizations were broadened further after his appointment as ISA’s President and Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Immediately after his selection as the Chairman of UNCOPUOS’s Legal Subcommittee for the period 2010-2011, Mr. Talebzadeh established a working group composed of people with backgrounds on space law from different organizations to study and discuss latest achievements in this area as well as the existing shortages. The outcome of these studies would then be presented and discussed in weekly meetings chaired by Mr. Talebzadeh. Thus Mr. Talebzadeh is fully knowledgeable in the area of space law and is perfectly familiar with the UN Treaties and Conventions on Space Law and the outcomes of the meetings of UNCOPUOS.
    The advancement of space technology in the academic arena in Iran is in large part due to Mr. Talebzadeh’s initiative in encouraging Iranian universities to enter into contract with ISA to conduct research and build student satellites which are all meant to be used for peaceful purposes and for scientific development of the country.
    As President of ISA, he was the first person who encouraged academic studies of space law in Iran. It was during his time that ISA signed a contract with Tehran University’s Faculty of Law and Political Science, obliging it to carry out detailed studies of the 5 UN Treaties and Conventions in Outer Space Affairs. He also fully supported PhD students studying law and international relations whose theses was on space law.
    It was due to Mr. Talebzadeh’s efforts that Iran successfully held two international workshops on space law, both jointly organized with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). He was in charge of the organization of both workshops and chaired the second one, held in Tehran 8-11 Nov. 2009. All the participants as well as representatives of UNOOSA (headed by Dr, Niklas Hedman) and APSCO (its director general, Dr. Zhang Wei) who attended this workshop admit to its success, which largely goes back to the efforts and hard work of Mr. Talebzadeh.
    His role in a number of regional and international activities which were conducted for peaceful utilization of outer space such as the successful completion of the project on Small Multi-Mission Satellite is undeniable. The fact that it was during his time as ISA President that Iran established one of the regional support offices of UN-SPIDER which is mainly concerned with the use of space-based applications for disaster management and emergency response and other collaborations with various entities with the United Nations further confirms that Mr. Talebzadeh was never engaged in any form of military activities in outer space.
    After Dr. Taghipour, who is well experienced in the area of satellites and space technology, took over as the president of ISA, Mr. Talebzadeh stayed in the Agency and enforced the establishment of a new department within ISA called Space Research and Training Center. Due to Mr. Talebzadeh’s personal interest, he continued to focus on the concept of space law in this department and supported student projects in this subject.
    His recent appointment as the Director General of the Department of External Relations and Legal Affairs of Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO) is yet another indication of his capabilities.
    Considering his background in various areas of space activities and years of collaboration with international organizations active in the peaceful utilization of outer space such as UNCOPUOS, he was elected unanimously by COPUOS member states to chair the Legal Subcommittee in 2010 and 2011. I personally trust that as the chairman of the Legal Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS for the upcoming sessions, Mr. Talebzadeh will further contribute to encouraging countries to use space for peaceful purposes.

    Aminzadeh
    Research Deputy of Faculty of Law and Political Science, Lecturer on Space Law, University of Tehran, Iran

    • It is extremely confusing. You sir, claiming to be a scholar, say that A. Talebzadeh is a reputable space law and policy expert. But the other one above [Mahsa Taheran] who introduces to be the student of A. Talebzadeh believes oppositely. Other guy [Mahdi Saeedipour] states that A. Talebzadeh was his “professor” for 3 years, however according to you he is simply a holder of Master degree and could not be taken into account as a professor. I wonder if they know the meaning of the words they use. Other one [M. Tabeshian] who claims that was Talebzadeh’s teaching assistant (?) at AmirKabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic) on a purely technical course, states that Mr. Talebzadeh proceeded to teach legal concepts of space in that technical course, and the outcome was beyond the expectations(!?). What a messy!
      After all of the above things and sayings the CV of A. Talebzadeh at the official web site of OOSA (http://www.unoosa.org/pdf/limited/l/AC105_2008_CRP09E.pdf) shows nothing to be proud of. Are all the above statements by the above mentioned people too good to be true?

      Apsara Nakprasitte, Thailand

  10. Sirs,
    The hot discussion and lot of comments about this post is very questionable. The comments that come pro the new chair is all from the entourage, I do not think that the comments is stated by unaligned people. I tried to see the cv of the new chair at the web site of OOSA. It is the matter of great question for me that if according to comments given by the people that is seen above (E. Aminzadeh, Mahdi Saeedipour and Mahsa Taheran), the background of the new chair is so brilliant and considerable, then why it is not seen or reflected in his cv dated June 2008. The readers may see it easily at http://www.unoosa.org/pdf/limited/l/AC105_2008_CRP09E.pdf and judge.

    Manavendra Butta, India

  11. It is a pity that some E. Aminzadeh introducing him/herself as a university scholar commits mendacity, the reason is not conceivable logically. Out of place praising, and attributing mythical (!?) untrue positions to the subcommittee chair while there is no practical and real record of merit and befitting ability for him anywhere, looks to be a fishy effort for purging him. There is no obligation for the world community to tolerate and compromise such the thing.

    K. Sato
    space law fellow
    Japan

    • Dear colleagues:
      Apsara Nakprasitte, Manavendra Butta and Kaemon Sato,

      You will be no more surprised if you know a bit more. In 2007 when he was the president of ISA, Mr. Ahmad Talebzadeh commissioned Ms. E [Elham] Aminzadeh, the member of the Iranian Parliament belonging to its pro-government wing to make a review project on space law. The project never carried out properly however Ms. Aminzadeh rewarded with favor.
      …but under the skin of the night there was happening much more things. As soon as Mr. Talebzadeh took over as the president of ISA, he appointed Mr. M [Mahdi] Tabeshian, his retired official colleague as his advisor. Since then Mr. Tabeshian supervised Mr. Talebzadeh and acted as his ideologue. The advisor who claims that he was Mr. Talebzadeh’s teaching assistance at AmirKabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic) on a course titled: Fundamentals of Space Engineering persuaded him to make use of the opportunity to familiarize students with legal concepts in a technical course!? …he believed that the outcome was beyond the expectations.
      It is seen that for both of the above people praising Mr. Talebzadeh and devotion to him is reasonable, but about the young students, Mahdi Saeedipour and Mahsa Taheran if it is assumed that they have never planned to invest for their future by extolling Mr. Talebzadeh, it is a great regret for both of them who judge about the one whom do not know sufficiently.

      J. Alavi
      International relations scholar

  12. ::
    Following the LS-COPUOS meeting in last couple of weeks the news about chairing the legal subcommittee by a non-expert is disappointing. It is disgracing that such a thing happens in the history of COPUOS. It places expectations about this important body of the UN in serious jeopardy. The same is about APSCO. It is very crucial for both COPUOS and APSCO to be very careful and serious in respecting merits and employ competent people for the posts.

    Mary Arlington, Australia
    ::

  13. Sirs,
    Employing Ahmad Talebzadeh by LS-COPUOS and APSCO is mocking the values and aims of both bodies for peaceful and humanitarian use of space. With such the record of objections do COPUOS and APSCO want to continue disregarding the views and opinion of the world community? It is appreciated that ResCommunis seriously reflect the status to the APSCO and COPUOS authorities for revision.

    Marianela MAIZEL
    Scholar, Peru

  14. Dear Sirs,
    I inspected some reliable sources and found out that Mr. Ahmad Talebzadeh is the one that was nominated for the post at APSCO by the Iranian minister of communications that everybody in Iran knows that he is the high rank member of the guardian corps of Islamic revolution. Mr. Talebzadeh is clearly the representative of the guardian corps to APSCO. He is also the agent of guardian corps to COPUOS for the same reason. It is surprising that the world community explicitly intends to ban the guardian corps for very clear reasons however allows the person that represents guardian corps to occupy the posts which needed merits and characteristics for them is completely different with the characteristics, background and mentalities of Mr. Talebzadeh.

    Mahmud Hamed
    Malaysia

  15. Dear all

    I did not claim he is an expert in law and policy. My main point os discussion is that based on my knowledge, he has never backed the military uses of space in Iran. He taught in university an introductory course just to familiarize the aeronautics students with different aspects of the space technology, space law is part of which. This is a respectable contribution, as at the time he introduced space technology to the students through his lectures, there was no relevant course in the Aerospace departments for space technology. The lectures were interdisciplinary and did not include just technical or legal or policy aspects, but the more focused on technical issues.

    His familiarity with space law and policy, which I can’t comment on because of the fact that I am not an expert in the field and just an engineer interested in the legal aspects, is due to his presence at COPUOS meetings and his own interest to read about the field.

    To correct the mistake, in Iran anyone presenting lectures in university is called a professor just to respect him, whether or not he holds a PhD degree. SO if you see Mr. Saeedipour called him a Professor, while we’re all aware he doesn’t have a PhD degree.

    I hope you understand the point I try to make. He is very committed to civil applications. He doesn’t work with military or helpping anyone transfer the funds to military. You have to bring evidences if you claim so, otherwise this is morally and legally not acceptable. The fact that he worked as the director, or he was nominated by the minister is not enough to support your claim (If you were familiar with Iranian society and the complexities of the relationship between the people and the regime, it would be easier to understand this point). As I said, I do not want to expect how the results of his chairmanship period would be. Apart from how expert he is in the field, many factors affect his work, the most important of which in my opinion is the English capabilities. As I said I am not a policy and law expert to comment on many of the comments regarding his expertise in the field.

    Thank you
    Mahsa Taheran


    • There are points in your comment that are definitely untrue. I believe that knowing a person only for few years and being his student is too short to judge about his background and competence. The records of COPUOS that is very easily available through the official web site of OOSA as well as other diplomatic sources shows clearly that Mr. Talebzadeh only attended the COPOUS since 2007 and not many years ago. Moreover, I do not know what the base of your claim is but his English capabilities are too poor and there is no record to show this oppositely. This is what everybody knows it in Iran.
      There is lot of examples of his obligation to non-civilians; the SMMS project is one. If he was not obliged to the non-civilians then why after takeover as the isa president in 2005 he selected all of his deputies, managers and consultants from the non-civilian and security people with dummy posts and background.
      I invite you to verify only the backgrounds of the previous chairmen of Legal Subcommittee, Prof. Vladimír Kopal (Czech Republic), Dr. Raimundo González Aninat (Chile), Prof. Sergio Marchisio (Italy), Prof. Václav Mikulka (Czech Republic), Dr. Stanislav Suja (Czechoslovakia), Dr. Ludek Handl (Czechoslovakia), Prof. Eugeniusz Wyzner (Poland) and finally the well-known Prof. Manfred Lachs (Poland) if you are interested in space law and then judge about the last chairman of the legal subcommittee honestly and free of prejudice.

      • Dear colleague,
        I fully support your comment. Checking the cv of Dr. Raimundo González Aninat, the former chairman of legal subcommittee from Chile at http://www.unoosa.org/pdf/limited/l/AC105_2008_CRP10E.pdf that can be easily accessed in the web site of OOSA confirms your idea and would clarify the mind of Mahsa Taheran.

        K. Taheri,
        Shah Alam, Malaysia

  16. Sirs,
    It is a long term that this post appears as the top post here with many comments about it. It seems to be a record. The reason could be the uniqueness and oddness of the selection of a person with irrelevant and disgracing qualifications for taking both the positions of the chairmanship of legal subcommittee of copuos and directorship of international and legal affairs of apsco. Wishing to remain anonymous, as a diplomat who is well aware of the backgrounds, I believe that for clarifying the minds of the world community and for the sake of humanity and truth it is worth to express that it is a great surprise that while the world community approves more sanctions against the Guardian Corps (GC) of Islamic Revolution because of its malicious vision and deed, its arms and finger tips are still active and present in copuos and apsco. Although in some of above posts the liaison between Mr. Talebzadeh and the non-civilian and security bodies is denied, such the claims are untrue. For instance since his appointment as the president of ISA in 2005 almost 90 percent of the delegation members of IR Iran to UN-COPUOS nominated by ISA have been the security members of GC. Their aim for participating in copuos meetings has been actually stealing the information and espionage. It is obviously and completely in contradiction with the strategy of cooperation and positive interaction with world community followed before 2005. The same thing is the case in dealing with AP-MCSTA and others. About SMMS contribution from Iran’s part was restricted exclusively to the GC and security members thanks to the generosity and devotion of Mr. Talebzadeh to them. Under the dummy positions of advisor and expert the GC members have attended there for info stealing. Unfortunately this procedure has developed to the contribution of Iran to APSCO. Almost all participants and contributors from Iran to APSCO and its different programs are from GC while they have the dummy positions being the employees of ISA or advisors to it. Mr. Talebzadeh is really the main piece of this scenario but surprisingly it is disregarded. By when will the world community tolerate this duality?

    M. K.
    Norway

  17. Dear colleagues,
    Space activities in Iran is not limited to only the GC affiliated officials like Reza Taghipour, Ahmad Talebzadeh and Ali Forghani who are endorsed by the current state of Iran. All the basic and wise initiatives, and the starting steps related to the Iranian space endeavor go to the years before 2005. Although not sufficient, there are good references in this connection that are globally available and are easily verifiable by everybody free of prejudice. I suggest reading the Iran chapters of the outstanding book ‘Emerging Space Powers; The New Space Programs of Asia, the Middle East and South-America’ (by Brian Harvey, Henk H.F. Smid and Theo Pirard), a comprehensive multinational reputable and reliable work that is published by Springer Praxis in February 2010. The article entitled “Iran’s space program; Riding high for peace and pride” written by Dr. Parviz Tarikhi, published in Elsevier’s Space Policy International Journal, Issue 3, Volume 25, August 2009, pp. 160-173 (DOI: 10.1016/j.spacepol.2009.05.010) is also a source of recognition and value about Iran’s space endeavor. Meanwhile, the commentaries of the latter about the space activities of Iran and its particular legal aspects that are posted in Res Communis reflects his wide insight on history and backgrounds of Iran’s space endeavor, and his knowledge and experience in the space-related international arena because of his long-lasting work and activity in cooperation with COPUOS and other bodies and initiatives. In addition to Dr. Parviz Tarikhi, there are reputable dignitaries and able figures in Iran’s space endeavor such as Prof. Hassan Shafti, the founder of Iranian Aerospace Society, and the Iranian Space Agency (February 2004), Dr. Mohsen Bahrami, Dr. Mostafa Safavi and others who the world community and space related national and international organizations and bodies can benefit their merit and experience in different space-related issues.

    Kamal Taheri,
    Shah Alam, Malaysia

    • Dear colleagues,
      I am a scholar who conducts a research and analysis project on space science and technology development history and trends of the newly emerging space fairing nations. Confirming the comments posted by K. Taheri from Malaysia, I emphasize that based on my verifications there are reputable dignitaries and able figures in Iran’s space endeavor whose merits and capabilities as you pointed out is more or less apparent to the world community, nevertheless the position of Dr. Parviz Tarikhi is unique and recognized. He is I dare say that is the first international figure in the Iranian space endeavor who emerged in recent decade. His global recognition is not random. Following testimonials indicates this clearly. For instance, in the introduction of the book “Emerging Space Powers; the New Space Programs of Asia, the Middle East, and South America” published in February 2010, the Dutch author of the book Prof. Henk H.F. Smid, who is a reputable scientist and writer in the field of space science and technology, in his dedication words writes, ‘….Special thanks I reserve for Parviz Tarikhi, a man of stature, who stood by me all the way. His insight into the Iranian space efforts enlightened the path I had to travel to write this book. …’ It is worth to add that in this 624-page book Dr. Parviz Tarikhi is referenced frequently by the author that is the indication of the importance and value of his works and research in course of the years.
      Moreover, Dr. Peter J. Brown, a US senior space technology expert and the reputable satellite technology writer in his article “Iran’s New Satellite Challenges China” published in Asia Times, February 9, 2009 (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KB10Ak04.html and see also http://questionscritiques.free.fr/edito/AsiaTimesOnline/satellite_Iran_Israel_Chine_090209.htm in French language) relates, ‘…Besides having much to say about APSCO, [Parviz] Tarikhi’s broader track record to date cannot be dismissed or overlooked. He has contributed years of service to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPUOS). Among other things, he co-chaired the Action Team of UNISPACE-III which has tried to develop a comprehensive worldwide environmental monitoring strategy’. He adds, ‘In fact, as a senior member of the ISA team, Tarikhi’s record embodies the ISA’s commitment to developing assets in space both for peaceful purposes and for use as part of various multinational space projects. In an article published in “Position” magazine last June entitled, “Iran’s Ambitions in Space” Tarikhi emphasized that “Iran has pursued a space program for many years. It first embraced the idea of using space and its technologies for peaceful purposes in 1958, when it joined 17 other countries to establish the UN ad hoc Committee for International Cooperation on Space (which later became UN-COPUOS).”’
      The same view comes from Raoul Davenac and Laurence Nardon from France in the article “Le programme spatial iranien” published in March 2009 (http://www.ifri.org/?page=detail-contribution&id=5295&id_provenance=97) by the Institut français des relations internationales- ifri (French Institute of International Relations) and also by Erik Schechter, a US writer and expert in space science and technology in his article “Aerospace Industry in the Middle East” published in the April 2009 issue of Aerospace America (pages 38-43) of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).
      (http://www.aiaa.org/aerospace/images/articleimages/pdf/Aerospace%20in%20Middle%20East_APR20091.pdf)
      The article “Iran’s great leap: the February launch of an experimental satellite moves the Islamic Republic closer to developing intercontinental ballistic missiles” written by Ed Blanche and published in April 2009 by BNET (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2742/is_399/ai_n31587592/?tag=content;col1) can be referred furthermore.
      In addition to his international reputation Dr. Parviz Tarikhi’s long-lasting and parallel activity in technology development should not be disregarded (see http://parviztarikhi.wordpress.com). He is a space science and technology scientist and senior expert with a specific focus on microwave remote sensing. There are available to the interested people records of his activities and achievements in the form of books, papers and technical articles published in the international journals, magazines and internet.

      John A. Agyekum


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