Iran launches satellite-carrying Zuljanah rocket
The new satellite rocket reached 310 miles above the ground and would be used to put civilian satellites into orbit. However, The Islamic Revolutionary Guard warned the technology could easily be used for military means and is one of the most advanced missiles that Iran has showcased publically. It comes as Joe Biden is expected to revive talks with Iran to arrange limits on their nuclear programme after previous agreements were thrown out by Donald Trump.
Under the Trump administration, the US withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which was implemented by Obama in 2015.
It severely reduced the country’s nuclear programme by preventing them from having enriched Uranium and opened the doors to foreign inspectors.
In return, Iran would receive US and other state trade sanction relief worth billions of dollars.
But Donald Trump ripped up the agreement believing it did not go far enough, calling it “one-sided”, and signed an executive order to impose trade sanctions on Iran.
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President Joe Biden revealed he would be happy to discuss with Iran about going returning to the JCOPA and he has been supported by other members of the treaty.
The JCPOA is made up of the US, Iran, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the UK.
But since the trade sanctions were implemented under Donald Trump, Iran has been breaching the agreement by stockpiling Uranium and Plutonium and advancing their missile programme.
Joe Biden said if they were to go back to the old agreements the US sanctions would be lifted, but Iran wants the US to make the first move.
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Iran revealed the rocket was developed to launch satellites but the motor in the Zuljanah is 5ft in diameter with a thrust of 75 kilotons which is much more than what is needed to launch a satellite into orbit.
Ahamad Hosseini, Iran’s defence spokesman, said: “For the first time in the country’s space field, the first research launch of the hybrid Zuljanah satellite carrier was conducted with the aim of below-orbit testing through achieving the technology for the most powerful solid-fuel engine in the country.”
The EU has been put forward as a mediator between the US and Iran so the two sides can come to an agreement.
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Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said the EU could “choreograph” these actions.
He added: “The United States needs to come back into compliance and Iran will be ready immediately to respond.
“If we are away from the strict limitations of the nuclear agreement it’s because the United States tried to impose a full economic war on Iran.”
However, political analysts are hopeful Biden will be able to secure a deal with Iran during his term.
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