Iranian state television says Tehran has launched a rocket with a satellite carrier bearing three devices into space, though it’s unclear if any object entered orbit around the Earth.
The state TV report Thursday did not say when the launch was conducted or what devices the carrier brought with it. It comes amid ongoing negotiations in Vienna over Iran’s tattered nuclear deal.
Previous launches have drawn rebukes from the United States. Iranian state media has offered a list of upcoming planned satellite launches for the Islamic Republic’s civilian space program, which has been beset by a series of failed launches. Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard runs its own parallel program that successfully put a satellite into orbit last year.
Conducting a launch amid the Vienna talks fits the hardline posture struck by Tehran’s negotiators, who already described six previous rounds of diplomacy as a “draft,” exasperating Western nations. Germany’s new foreign minister has gone as far as to warn that “time is running out for us at this point.” Satellite images seen by The Associated Press suggested a launch was imminent earlier this month.