Iran announces that it has carried out a new space launch, in a move likely to anger Western powers amid tough talks on reviving a 2015 nuclear deal.

Iranian state media recently offered a list of upcoming planned satellite launches for the country's civilian space programme.
Iranian state media recently offered a list of upcoming planned satellite launches for the country's civilian space programme. (AP Archive)

Iran has launched a rocket with a satellite carrier bearing three devices into space, though it's unclear if any of the objects entered orbit around the Earth.

The state TV report on Thursday, as well as others by semiofficial news agencies, did not say when the launch was conducted nor what devices the carrier brought with it. 

"In this space research mission, for the first time, three research payloads were launched simultaneously," defence ministry spokesperson Ahmad Hosseini said, quoted by state television.

Hosseini said the three devices were sent up 470 kilometres (290 miles) in the Simorgh, or “Phoenix,” rocket.

However, no one immediately said if the objects launched reached orbit.  Iran has suffered a series of setbacks in its space program in recent launches.

Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard runs its own parallel program that successfully put a satellite into orbit last year.

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Ongoing negotiations 

The launch comes amid ongoing negotiations in Vienna over Iran's tattered nuclear deal. 

Previous launches have drawn rebukes from the United States.

Conducting a launch amid the Vienna talks fits the hard-line posture struck by Tehran’s negotiators, who already described six previous rounds of diplomacy as a “draft,” exasperating Western nations. 

Germany’s new foreign minister has gone as far as to warn that “time is running out for us at this point.”

Satellite images seen by The Associated Press suggested a launch was imminent earlier this month.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies