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World: Iran announces new space launch amid nuclear talks

Iran fires missiles during drills in warning to Israel

  Iran fires missiles during drills in warning to Israel Iran fired multiple ballistic missiles Friday at the close of five days of military drills that generals said were a warning to arch-enemy Israel. "The military exercise is a serious warning to Zionist regime officials," said Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps chief Major General Hossein Salami. "Make the slightest mistake, we will cut off their hand."The drills come after US national security adviser Jake Sullivan met Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, amid the Jewish state's opposition to efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Iran announced Thursday it has carried out a new space launch, in a move likely to irk Western powers amid tough talks on reviving a 2015 nuclear deal.

A picture released by Iran's defence ministry shows a Simorgh (Phoenix) rocket ready for launch from an undisclosed desert location © - A picture released by Iran's defence ministry shows a Simorgh (Phoenix) rocket ready for launch from an undisclosed desert location

Tehran successfully put its first military satellite into orbit in April 2020, drawing a sharp rebuke from Washington.

Western governments worry that satellite launch systems incorporate technologies interchangeable with those used in ballistic missiles capable of delivering a nuclear warhead.

Iran insists its space programme is for civilian and defence purposes only, and does not breach the nuclear deal or any other international agreement.

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UN Security Council Resolution 2231 of 2015, endorsing the nuclear deal, imposed no blanket ban on Iranian rocket or missile launches.

Iran's state broadcaster aired footage of a rocket rising from a desert launchpad, but gave no details of its location.

"The Simorgh (Phoenix) satellite launcher carried three research cargos into space," said defence ministry spokesman Ahmad Hosseini.

"The research goals foreseen for this launch have been achieved," he added, quoted by state television.

Earlier this month US media reported that preparations for a launch were under way at Iran's space centre in Semnan, 300 kilometres (190 miles) east of Tehran.

Hosseini did not elaborate on the nature of the research, but he said the latest operation was a "preliminary launch" and that more would follow.

Iran seeks assurances as nuclear talks resume

  Iran seeks assurances as nuclear talks resume Iran said nuclear talks that are set to resume Monday in Vienna should focus on lifting sanctions on the Islamic republic and "guarantees" the US will return to the fold. Negotiations to salvage the 2015 Iran nuclear deal resumed in late November, after a five-month hiatus following the election of ultraconservative Iran President Ebrahim Raisi. The talks seek to bring back the United States, after it withdrew from the accord in 2018 under president Donald Trump and began imposing sanctions on Iran.Iran has reported progress in the talks, but European diplomats have warned they are "rapidly reaching the end of the road".

- Vienna talks see 'progress' -


Video: U.S., Iran to restart nuclear deal talks in Vienna (NBC News)

In February, Iran announced it had launched its most powerful solid fuel rocket to date, the Zoljanah, boasting that it can put a 220-kilogramme (480-pound) payload into orbit.

A handout picture released by Iran's defence ministry shows the Phoenix satellite rocket lifting off © - A handout picture released by Iran's defence ministry shows the Phoenix satellite rocket lifting off

The United States voiced concern about that launch, saying the test could boost Iran's ballistic missile technology at a time when the two nations are inching back to diplomacy.

According to the Pentagon and satellite imagery of the Semnan centre, an Iranian satellite launch failed in mid-June, reports denied by Tehran.

Iran's declared new space launch comes amid talks underway in Vienna between the Islamic republic and world powers to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Iranian Lead 1-Nuclear-Iran and Russia are optimistic about

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The deal offered Tehran much-needed relief from sanctions and curtailed Iran's nuclear activities.

But the unilateral withdrawal by then-US president Donald Trump derailed the deal, and prompted Tehran to walk back on its commitments under it.

Talks to revive it began in late November, with an eighth round getting underway Monday.

On Thursday, Iran's chief negotiator Ali Bagheri said "relatively satisfactory progress" has been made.

"Some written changes on the lifting of sanctions were established between the two parties," Bagheri, said in a video published by Tasnim news agency.

The UN Security Council Resolution endorsing the nuclear deal did not ban Iran from launching missiles or rockets.

But it called on it "not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology".

Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia are taking part in the Vienna talks with Iran, while the United States is participating indirectly.

"There may have been some modest progress," State Department spokesman Ned Price said Tuesday.

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nuclear. The stop of a reactor of the three-month prolonged Chooz power plant by EDF .
© Francois LA Presti / AFP the Chooz nuclear power plant, in the north of France, in May 2017. France will not benefit This winter of electricity reactor number 2 of the Chooz plant, announces EDF Thursday, January 6, 2022. There would be a fault on the piping portions of the safety injection circuit.

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