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Iran launches rocket as nuclear talks to resume: State TV

TEHRAN, IRAN (AP) – Iranian state television said yesterday Tehran launched a solid-fuelled rocket with a satellite carrier, a day after Iran and the European Union (EU) agreed to resume stalled talks over Iran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers.

It’s unclear when exactly the rocket was launched, but the announcement came after satellite photos showed preparations at a desert launch pad. Iran had also acknowledged that it planned tests for the satellite-carrying Zuljanah rocket. State-run media claimed that the rocket launch was successful.

The news comes after EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell travelled to Tehran in a push to resuscitate stalemated negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programme and announced on Saturday the United States (US) and Iran would resume indirect talks in the coming days.

Iran, which long has said it does not seek nuclear weapons, maintains its satellite launches and rocket tests do not have a military component.

Iran’s state-run news agency IRNA quoted Defence Ministry spokesman Ahmad Hosseini as saying the satellite carrier would gather information in low-earth orbit and would be critical to promote Iran’s space industry.