Launch rocket into space as nuclear negotiations for Iran to resume


Tehran, Iran — Iran’s state television said on Sunday that Tehran launched a solid-fuel rocket into space and was reprimanded by Washington before it was expected to resume stagnant negotiations over a tattered nuclear deal with world powers. Stated.

It is unknown when and where the rocket was launched, but it was announced after satellite imagery showed preparations at the Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Semnan Province, Iran, where Iran’s frequent attempts to put the satellite into orbit failed. ..

State media aired dramatic footage of the explosion against the backdrop of heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program, which is competing under reduced international surveillance.

Iran had previously admitted that it was planning further testing of its first satellite-mounted rocket launched in February last year.

Ahmad Hosseini, a spokesman for the Iranian Ministry of Defense, said Zuljana, a 25.5-meter-long rocket, could carry 220 kilograms (485 lbs) of satellites and eventually collected data in low orbit and Iran. Said to promote the space industry. Zuljana is named after the horse of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

The White House said it was aware of Iran’s announcement and criticized the move as “useless and unstable.”

The launch is the day after European Union Foreign Policy Director Josep Borrell visits Tehran to revive negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program, which has been stagnant for several months. Several important issues remain, including Tehran’s request for Washington to lift terrorist sanctions on the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Borrell said on Saturday that negotiations on a nuclear deal would resume in the unnamed Persian Gulf country within a few days, and Iranian media reported that Qatar was likely to host the negotiations.

Former President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal in 2018 and imposed catastrophic sanctions on Iran. Meanwhile, other Western nations continued to try to revive transactions. Tehran responded by significantly strengthening its nuclear development and is now enriching uranium closer to the weapons grade level.

In a further escalation that limits the international community’s view of the nuclear program, Iran removed more than 20 International Atomic Energy Agency cameras from its nuclear site this month. Authorities called the move a “fatal blow” to the tattered nuclear deal.

Tehran’s rocket launch sounded a warning in Washington in the elucidation of a nuclear deal. The United States has warned of launching against a UN Security Council resolution calling on Iran to avoid activities related to ballistic missiles capable of launching nuclear weapons.

The White House said on Sunday that it is committed to taking sanctions and other measures to prevent further development of Iran’s ballistic missile program.

The U.S. intelligence agency’s 2022 threat assessment released in March stated that such satellite launch rockets would “shorten the timeline” for Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missiles because they use “similar technology.” Insist.

Iran, which has long said it does not seek nuclear weapons, has maintained satellite launches and has no military component in rocket testing.

Even though the Iranian government has focused on space, sent some short-lived satellites into orbit, and launched monkeys into space in 2013, the program has recently had problems. The Simurgh program, a type of satellite-mounted rocket, failed to launch five times in a row. A fire at Imam Khomeini Spaceport in February 2019 also killed three researchers.

The launch pad used to prepare the Zuljana rocket for launch remains damaged by the August 2019 explosion. February satellite imagery, which Iran did not admit, suggested a failure to launch Zuljana earlier this year.

Meanwhile, in April 2020, Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard Corps unveiled its own secret space program by successfully launching a satellite into orbit. The Security Force operates its own military infrastructure in parallel with Iran’s regular army.

Associated Press