Iranian state television said Sunday that Tehran had launched a solid-fueled rocket into space, drawing a rebuke from Washington ahead of the expected resumption of stalled talks over Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers.
Iran had previously acknowledged that it planned more tests for the satellite-carrying rocket, which it first launched in February of last year.
Ahmad Hosseini, spokesman for Iran’s Defense Ministry, said Zuljanah, a 25.5 meter-long rocket, was capable of carrying a satellite of 220 kilograms (485 pounds) that would ultimately gather data in low-earth orbit and promote Iran’s space industry. Zuljanah is named for the horse of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.
The White House said it was aware of Iran’s announcement and criticized the move as “unhelpful and destabilizing.”
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