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Rocket launch preparations spotted in Iran, as nuclear tensions rise

The Islamic Republic of Iran is preparing a new rocket launch from a desert spaceport amidst tensions around its nuclear program.

Published Jun 16, 2022 7:12 AM CDT   |   Updated Mon, Jul 11 2022 7:34 PM CDT

Satellites from Maxar Technologies spotted preparations for rocket launches in Iran on Tuesday, June 14th.

Rocket launch preparations spotted in Iran, as nuclear tensions rise 01 |

The launch preparations are underway at the Imam Khomeini Spaceport for the Islamic Republic of Iran's new Zuljanah three-stage rocket for carrying satellites to orbit. The rocket is slated to be launched two more times after a previous launch at the same site where numerous failed attempts to launch satellites to orbit have occurred.

Satellite imagery captured a rocket on a transporter at the site, and later that day, a rocket was lifted onto the launch tower. Reporters questioned Ned Price, the spokesperson United States Department of State, about the launch preparations, who said, "Iran has consistently chosen to escalate tensions. It is Iran that has consistently chosen to take provocative actions."

"Iranian aggression, to include the demonstrated threat posed by its various missile programs, continues to be a top concern for our forces in the region," said Pentagon spokesman U.S. Army Maj. Rob Lodewick.

The United States claims that Iran's satellite launches are in defiance of a United Nations Security Council resolution and that such preparations "shortens the timeline" for Iran to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that can propel nuclear weapons.

Iran has recently said that it will be removing 27 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) surveillance cameras from sites where it enriches uranium, heightening tensions surrounding the country's nuclear program.

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