Iran launches satellite-capable rocket into space

Iran Middle East Missiles

Iranian semi-official media are reporting that Iran has successfully launched a rocket carrying a satellite into space.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231 endorsed the 2015 nuclear deal and said Iran couldn't pursue missiles capable of delivering nuclear payloads.

The advances necessary to launch a rocket into space could aid Iran's missile program technology, as well, Voice of America reported.

A satellite launch was reported in 2015, using a different class of rocket than the one mentioned in Thursday's claim.

Designed and developed with the latest standards in mind, Iran's new space rocket can carry satellites weighing up to 250 kilograms (550 pounds) about 500 kilometers (310 miles) away, well within the Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

The rocket, called the Simorgh, or 'phoenix, ' marks a key step forward in Iran's space program, which as always been suspected of covering research and development of advanced intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs. Based on the mock-ups Iran has displayed, the Simorgh does not have the range or power to carry a nuclear warhead as far as the United States, but it could be an evolutionary step on the way to creating such a vehicle.

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It was not immediately clear whether the launch had successfully sent a satellite into outer space, or if only the satellite-carrying space vehicle was launched.

Mr Kripowicz said Iran's satellites technology "could be configured to be an ICBM".

Iran's satellite-launch program falls under the responsibility of the defense ministry, which has denied that the space program is a cover for weapons development.

"We consider this to be a provocative action".

The United States has insisted, however, that such missile and satellite tests violate the "spirit" of the nuclear deal and has announced a series of sanctions targeting missile tests since the deal was signed.

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