Iran says rocket sends 'research payloads' into space

Iranian state television showed footage on Thursday (December 30) of what it said was the firing of the launch vehicle.

The Simorgh satellite carrier rocket, whose name translates as "Phoenix", had launched the three research devices at an altitude of 470 kilometres (290 miles), spokesman Ahmad Hosseini said.

He gave no further details on whether the devices had reached orbit but said an operational launch could take place soon.

Iran, which has one of the biggest missile programmes in the Middle East, has suffered several failed satellite launches in the past few years due to technical issues.

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