Nuclear dispute with Iran: Tehran tests launch vehicle

Nuclear dispute with Iran: Tehran tests launch vehicle

Status: 06/27/2022 04:15 AM

Iran’s Defense Ministry tested a launch vehicle just before the resumption of nuclear talks. In Tehran the government gave the reason for the research objectives.

Shortly before the resumption of deadlocked nuclear talks, Iran says it has tested a new launch vehicle for satellites. The Iranian Defense Ministry’s Space Department spokesman, Ahmed Hosseini, state news agency IRNA, said the satellite carrier “Soldschnah” was tested for the second time “in order to achieve previously defined research goals”.

In February 2021, the ministry reported the first test of the satellite carrier, without giving any information about the result. At the time, Hosseini said that the rocket was for “research purposes”. Hence it can orbit satellites at an altitude of 500 km and carry a payload of 220 kg.

agree to resume talks

Iran insists that its space program is for civilian and defense purposes only and does not violate the 2015 nuclear deal or other international agreements. However, Western governments fear that satellite launch systems contain technology that could also be used in ballistic and nuclear-capable missiles.

On Saturday, the European Union and Iran agreed to resume stalled nuclear talks. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdullahian said after a one-on-one meeting in Tehran that talks were to be resumed “in the coming days”. However, no exact date was given.

Talks stuck since March

The Vienna talks have been at a standstill since March. The US and Iran, which have not had diplomatic relations since 1980, accuse each other of blocking talks and communicating indirectly through the EU. The Vienna talks aim to persuade Washington to return to the 2015 accord, under which Iran limits its nuclear activities in exchange for an easing of international sanctions.

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The purpose of the agreement is to guarantee that Iran will only use nuclear power for civilian purposes and not, as the West feared, to create nuclear weapons. The United States withdrew from the agreement in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump and reinstated sanctions against Iran. In response, Iran has gradually gone back on its commitments.

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