Iran Sends Rocket Into Space Amid Faltering Nuclear Talks
On Thursday, Iran reportedly launched a rocket into space containing three research devices. The launch drew attention to Tehran’s missile ambitions amid faltering international negotiations regarding its nuclear program. The rocket launched by Iran last week is called the Simorgh and is designed to carry satellites. The spacecraft went up roughly 290 miles, a record for this type of rocket. The Iranian Defense Ministry did not say why the launch was conducted or if its missiles were successful. Iran did not provide any details about the devices. However, Iran has tested the Simorgh rocket at least five times previously, with most of the attempts being failures.
Although satellite carrier rockets are not included in Iran’s ballistic-missile program, US intelligence officials stated that many of the components in rockets such as the Simorgh can easily be repurposed for long-range ballistic missiles. However, Iran maintains that its satellite missile tests are not linked to military ambitions and are strictly for civilian purposes. The launch comes as Iranian and Western diplomats are engaging in difficult talks regarding Iran’s nuclear program in Vienna.