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Iran 'successfully' launches rocket after defiant US nuclear threat: 'No longer afraid'

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State television stated that Tehran conducted a launch with its Simorgh small-capacity orbital rocket. It is believed to have been carrying three “special cargo for research” devices on board. These are understood to have been satellites.

Some reports indicate that while the launch was successful, the rocket “failed to reach the Delta-V (speed) needed to insert the satellites to space”.

Seyed Ahmad Hosseini, Deputy Minister of Culture and Public Relations of the Ministry of Defense, said: “In this launch, the performance of the components of the space base and the performance of the satellite stages were performed correctly, and finally, the intended research goals of this launch were achieved.

“By matching the data and matching the functions, the necessary planning will be done for the operational launch.”

While the payload appears to be merely for research, the timing of the launch comes as leaders are in Vienna to try and save the landmark Iran nuclear deal.

Negotiations to restore the 2015 agreement began earlier this year but stopped in June as Iran elected a new government.

The aim is to bring back Washington, which left the deal in 2018, and curtail Tehran’s nuclear activities, stepped up in response to the US withdrawal and reimposed sanctions.

But Israel sent a terrifying warning yesterday.

A senior Israeli defence official said that there currently exists no deterrent against Iran’s nuclear program.

Zohar Palti, the head of the Defence Ministry’s political-military bureau, said: “The problem with Iran’s nuclear program is that, for the time being, there is no diplomatic mechanism to make them stop.

“There is no deterrent, Iran is no longer afraid.

“We don’t want to reach a point where we will have to ask ourselves how Iran was allowed to enrich to 90 percent.”

US special envoy on Iran Rob Malley said Tehran is “playing with fire” in the region and that reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement is far from a done deal.

He said: “We’ve seen Iran’s nuclear program expand, and we’ve seen Tehran become more belligerent, more bellicose in its regional activities.

“They are miscalculating and playing with fire.

“As they’re making these advances, they are gradually emptying the deal of the nonproliferation benefits for which we bargained.

“We’re not going to agree to a worse deal because Iran has built up its nuclear program,” Malley added. If negotiations do not advance, he said, trying to revive the deal will become “tantamount to trying to revive a dead corpse.”

It comes after experts warned that Iran could build a nuclear weapon in as little as two months.

Negotiators from the UK will also join the talks, as Britain were one of the signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal.

The original signatories to the JCPOA were China, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, the UK, the US and the EU.

The agreement was struck up in 2015 after Iran agreed to slam the breaks on its nuclear weapons programme in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.



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