Dr Mike Evans

Iran acknowledges rocket tests after satellite images revealed

Iran acknowledged it is planning two rocket tests after revealed satellite images showed preparations underway in the Islamic Republic.

The satellite images released by Maxar Technologies showed preparations underway at Imam Khomeini Spaceport. The location has been the site of recently failed attempts to send a satellite into orbit.

The images also revealed a rocket on a transport. A later image showed the same rocket on a tower.

“The Islamic Republic will launch its satellite-carrying Zuljanah rocket twice more after conducting a previous launch, the state-run IRNA news agency quotes Defense Ministry spokesman Ahmad Hosseini as saying,” the Times of Israel reported on Wednesday.

“He does not elaborate on a timeframe for the tests, nor say when the previous launch occurred,” it added.

The rocket tests come as Israel and Western nations have spoken out regarding cameras being turned off at nuclear test sites in Iran. In addition, the White House announced that President Joe Biden will be traveling to Israel and Saudi Arabia in July where Iran’s nuclear development will serve as a key topic.

During a Jerusalem press conference this week, Israeli Defense Minister Yair Lapid called for all U.N. Security Council nuclear sanctions on Iran to be restored. He called it the “next step” in addressing Iran’s nuclear development.

Despite the latest reports, Iran’s foreign minister claimed the U.S. accepted a proposal from Iran last week that could continue to move discussions forward regarding a restart of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal. Though the U.S. and other Western nations have seemed to abandon efforts at progress, discussions appear to be continuing.

The negotiations by Iran will largely seek to lift sanctions to help the nation’s economy. Despite a statement from the U.S. State Department regarding plans to end the diplomatic discussions, the future of the negotiation appears unclear, making Biden’s visit to the Middle East in July of even greater importance.