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Iran takes advantage of global focus on Ukraine, suffers another failed rocket launch attempt  

Satellite images show a damaged launch pad at a testing facility surrounded by vehicles 

Illustrative - rocket launch at Iranian Imam Khomeini Spaceport (Photo: Tasnim News Agency via Wikimedia Commons)

While the world is paying attention to the war in Ukraine, Iran tried to launch a satellite-carrying rocket to space – and failed.

According to an Associated Press report, satellite images from Maxar Technologies show scorch marks at a launch pad at Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran’s Semnan province. 

At the testing site, a rocket stand on the pad appears scorched and damaged with vehicles surrounding it. An object that resembles a part of a gate sits near it. The AP notes that successful launches typically don’t damage rocket gantries because they are lowered before takeoff into orbit. 

Iran usually celebrates successful launches that reach space on its state-run television channels, but publicly ignores failed attempts. Iran did acknowledge, however, one such failed attempt last December. 

The unsuccessful trial took place while Tehran is engaged in last-minute nuclear negotiations in Vienna. Before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, world powers estimated that talks were likely to wrap up with a revival of the 2015 nuclear deal which does not address Iran’s space program.

Tehran insists the testing site is meant for civilian and defense purposes only, but Israel and other western governments worry that satellite launch systems incorporate technologies used in ballistic missiles capable that are of delivering a nuclear warhead.

As nuclear negotiations continue to unfold, Iran seems to be solidifying its unmanned aircraft and satellite technologies. Iran'd military capabilities are also used by its regional proxies such as the Houthis in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon, threatening Israel and its Abraham Accords partners.  

Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not respond to the AP’s request for comment, nor did the U.S. military or the White House.

Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.

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