Iran’s Revolutionary Guard puts military satellite into orbit

Tehran, March 8 Iran’s Revolutionary Guards launched its second military satellite into orbit on Tuesday, at a time when Vienna negotiations to save the 2015 nuclear deal were in their final stages. The Nur-2 satellite – light in Farsi – was placed at an altitude of 500 kilometers to carry out an “observation” mission, according to Iranian media, which gave no further details. This is Iran’s second military satellite, after Nur-1 succeeded in orbiting Nur-1 in 2020, after several failures. The United States has repeatedly expressed concern about Iran’s space program because it suspects it has military purposes and may use the technology to develop ballistic missiles. The launch comes as negotiations to salvage a 2015 pact between Iran and Germany, France, Britain, Russia, China and the United States, are in a final phase. “No more expert talks, no formal meetings. It is time, in the coming days, to make a political decision to finalize the Vienna talks,” Enrique Mora, political director of the European External Action Service and coordinator of the talks, said yesterday on Twitter. The 2015 nuclear pact limited its atomic program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions, but in 2018 the president of the United States, Donald Trump, scrapped the agreement and reimposed sanctions on Iran. A year later, Tehran began to renege on the pact and accelerated its nuclear and uranium enrichment efforts. After 11 months of negotiations and as everything seemed to indicate that the deal would be closed, Russia demanded assurances that its commercial and military relations with Tehran would not be affected by sanctions due to the invasion of Ukraine. EFE jlr/jac

Roderick Gilbert

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