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Satellite images suggest Iran preparing for rocket launch

The images from Maxar Technologies showed a launch pad at Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran’s rural Semnan province, the site of frequent recent failed attempts to put a satellite into orbit.

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Iran appeared to be readying for a space launch Tuesday as satellite images showed a rocket on a rural desert launch pad, just as tensions remain high over Tehran’s nuclear program.

The images from Maxar Technologies showed a launch pad at Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran’s rural Semnan province, the site of frequent recent failed attempts to put a satellite into orbit.

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One set of images showed a rocket on a transporter, preparing to be lifted and put on a launch tower. A later image showed the rocket apparently on the tower.

Iran did not acknowledge a forthcoming launch at the space port and its mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, its state-run IRNA news agency in May said that Iran likely would have seven homemade satellites ready for launch by the end of the Persian calendar year in March 2023.

Read more: US says Iran threatening fate of JCPOA talks, could become further isolated

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