The decision to go ahead was taken in 1998. Under the Shah's regime in the 1970's, three internationally-allocated positions in geosynchronous orbit had been reserved for Iran. The Islamic Republic planned to share two of those positions with others and put their own satellite in the third. The United States blocked most countries from responding to Iran's tender calls for development of such a satellite due to the technology transfer provisions. Negotiations with the Russians finally began in early 2001, only to break down in 2003 under US pressure. The project was deferred but not cancelled.
On 26 January 2005 AFP reported that Iran finally signed a 132-million-dollar 30-month contract with the Russian Aerospace Agency and its affiliate AviaExport for the building of the Zohreh (Venus) telecommunications satellite. Launch plans were not announced.