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Iran successfully test-fires satellite-launch rocket

The United States enacted new sanctions targeting Iran's ballistic missile programme on August 2. Photograph: (AFP)

AFP Iran Jul 27, 2017, 04.53 PM (IST)

Iran has "successfully" tested a satellite-launch rocket capable of propelling a satellite weighing 250 kilograms (550 pounds) to an altitude of 500 kilometres (300 miles) above the earth, state television said.

The launch comes even as the US House passed a new sanctions bill on Tuesday targeting Iran over its missile programme.

The launch marked the official inauguration of Iran's Imam Khomeini space centre, named after the late founder of the Islamic republic, built for sending satellites into space, the television said, without giving its location. Iran's state television reported that the launch vehicle was named Simorgh after a bird in Iranian mythology

President Hassan Rouhani said had said on Wednesday that Iran would respond in kind to any breach by the United States of a 2015 nuclear deal after the House of Representatives passed a new sanctions bill.

"If the enemy steps over part of the agreement, we will do the same, and if they step over the entire deal, we will do the same too," Rouhani had said at a cabinet meeting.

The Iranian parliament's national security and foreign affairs committee said it would hold an extraordinary session on Saturday to discuss its formal response. 

The parliament voted earlier this month to fast-track a bill introduced in June that would increase funds for Iran's missile programme and Revolutionary Guards. 

"We must always develop our defence capability and we will strengthen our defensive weapons regardless of the opinion of others," Rouhani said.

 

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