Associated Press: Iran appears to be preparing for a space launch



December 13, 2021 03:43 GMT

The agency came to this conclusion after obtaining satellite images analyzed by an expert.

It appears that Iran is preparing to carry out a space launch from the Imam Khomeini National Space Center, located in the desert plains of Semnan Province, 220 kilometers southeast of Tehran, as evidenced by satellite images of Planet Labs Inc. On Saturday, obtained. by agency AP.

The footage shows activities at Iran’s space center as negotiations on the nuclear deal continue in Vienna. The media reports that in the photos there is a support vehicle parked next to a white bridge, where a missile is usually located on the launch pad, and that the hydraulic jack is present before previous launches likely in use can also be seen. missile maintenance.

Other recent satellite imagery shows an increase in the number of cars at the space center, seen as another indication of the increase in often pre-launch activities. In addition, it is believed that activity has intensified in a building where final preparations for space flights will be made.

“It’s a fairly traditional pre-launch activity,” Jeffrey Lewis, an expert at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, told the Associated Press.

Iranian state media did not acknowledge the activity at the space center, while Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not respond to a request for comment from the Associated Press. The US military, which tracks space launches, did not respond to requests for comment.

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