Iran announces rocket launch as nuclear deal talks set to reopen


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Iran will conduct a rocket launch amid the reopening of negotiations over the nation’s nuclear program, Iranian state media announced Sunday.

Iran has conducted numerous rocket launch tests in recent years, with some of them ending in failure. The Iranian regime has become increasingly aggressive as the start of new nuclear talks nears, with some of the country’s naval vessels challenging a pair of U.S. ships last week.

Iran is also prepared to ramp up its uranium enrichment capabilities, according to a report from U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Experts say the development is a warning sign for the U.S. that Iran is looking to secure concessions at the upcoming indirect negotiations.

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FILE – In this Oct. 26, 2010 file photo, a worker rides a bicycle in front of the reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, just outside the southern city of Bushehr. Iran’s sole nuclear power plant has undergone a temporary emergency shutdown, state TV reported on Sunday, June 20, 2021. An official from the state electric energy company, Gholamali Rakhshanimehr, said on a talk show that the Bushehr plant shutdown began on Saturday and would last “for three to four days.” (AP Photo/Mehr News Agency, Majid Asgaripour, File)

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“Iran’s nuclear escalation strategy continues to be defined by two types of acts: growing the scale and scope of the program through facts on the ground while reducing IAEA monitoring and verification capabilities,” Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who focuses on Iranian security, told Fox News Digital last week. “This combination of less eyes and more worries is designed to spook Washington into further concessions in Vienna.”

Previous negotiations with Iran broke down after the U.S. refused to withdraw sanctions against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). 

President Joe Biden is scheduled to travel to Saudi Arabia later this week. While his agenda there primarily relates to oil prices, he is also expected to throw his weight behind the new round of talks.

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Iran has abandoned many of the commitments it made in the 2015 nuclear deal after the U.S. withdrew from it under former President Donald Trump. The Biden administration has made little progress toward another deal.



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