Iran launches rocket into space as nuclear talks to resume
Iranian state television said Sunday that Tehran had launched a solid-fueled rocket into space, drawing a rebuke from Washington ahead of the expected resumption of stalled talks over Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers.
It’s unclear when or where exactly the rocket was launched, but the announcement came after satellite photos showed preparations at Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran’s rural Semnan province, the site of Iran’s frequent failed attempts to put a satellite into orbit.
State-run media aired dramatic footage of the blastoff against the backdrop of heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program, which is racing ahead under decreasing international oversight.
Iran had previously acknowledged that it planned multiple tests for the satellite-carrying Zuljanah rocket, named for the horse of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. It was not immediately clear whether Iran successfully launched the satellite carrier into its intended orbit.
The White House said it was aware of Iran’s announcement and described such actions as “unhelpful and destabilizing.” It said it was committed to using sanctions and other measures to prevent further advances in Iran’s ballistic missile program.
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