Tehran fires satellite-capable missile a day after agreeing to restart nuclear talks

Iran on Sunday launched a solid-propellant missile capable of carrying satellites, a day after Tehran and the European Union agreed to restart talks to return to the nuclear deal.

The timing of the launch was unclear, but the announcement came after satellite images showed preparations at a desert launch site.

Iran also admitted that it plans to test the Zalkane launch vehicle. State media reported that the missile launch was successful.

“The second test launch of a satellite carrier rocket with a wing for research purposes has been determined in advance,” Ahmad Hosseini, a spokesman for the Iranian Defense Ministry’s space group, said, Tasnim news agency reported.

Hosseini explained that “the satellite, which was placed on a cruise missile, in terms of technical characteristics competes with modern satellites in the world, which consist of two solid-fuel stages and one liquid-fuel stage.”

The news comes after European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell visited Tehran in an attempt to revive stalled talks on a nuclear deal with Iran. On Saturday, he announced that the US and Iran would resume talks in the coming days.

Previous missile launches have drawn a rebuke from the United States, which has said such satellite launches contravene a UN Security Council resolution urging Iran to refrain from any activity involving ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

Iran, which has long said it is not seeking nuclear weapons, insists that satellite launches and missile tests have no military dimension.

Source: AB + Tasnim

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