An Iranian Simorgh rocket launched into space. Photo published on December 30, 2021

France Condemns Iran Space Rocket Launch Amid Nuclear Talks

Friday, 12/31/2021

France on Friday condemned Iran's satellite rocket launch and said it was "all the more regrettable" as nuclear talks with world powers were making progress.

The French satement echoed concerns voiced by the United States and Germany.

Iran said on Thursday it had used a satellite launch rocket to send three research devices into space, as indirect US-Iran talks take place in Vienna to try to salvage a 2015 nuclear deal.

The satellite launch was in breach of UN Security Council resolutions, France's foreign ministry said.

"These activities are all the more regrettable as they come at a time when we are making progress in the nuclear negotiations in Vienna," the French foreign ministry said.

"We call on Iran not to launch further ballistic missiles designed to be capable of carrying nuclear weapons, including space launchers."

The US State Department said on Thursday Washington was aware of reports on the launch, adding such launches defy a UN Security Council resolution enshrining the 2015 nuclear deal.

A German diplomat said such launches could be used to test technology for ballistic missiles which in principle could be used to deliver nuclear weapons.

Tehran denies its space launch activity is a cover for ballistic missile development.

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