Satellite images released on Wednesday night suggest that Iran appears to have attempted a second satellite launch despite US criticism that its space program helps it develop ballistic missiles, The Associated Press reported.
Iran has not acknowledged conducting such a launch.
The images, released by the Colorado-based company DigitalGlobe, show a rocket at the Imam Khomeini Space Center in Iran's Semnan province on Tuesday. Images from Wednesday show the rocket was gone with what appears to be burn marks on its launch pad.
Iranian state media did not immediately report on the rocket launch, though such delays have happened in previous launches, noted AP.
Last month, Iran attempted to launch a satellite into space but failed when the satellite failed to reach orbit.
The launch came despite US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s warning to Iran to cease its efforts to develop ballistic missiles. Pompeo demanded that Iran drop its plans for a space launch, saying such actions would defy UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
UN Security Council resolution 2231, which the US says Iran violates with its ballistic missile tests, enshrined Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.
The resolution says Iran is “called upon” to refrain for up to eight years from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons.
Iran, however, denies its ballistic missile tests violate this resolution. President Hassan Rouhani has stressed in the past that Iran will continue to produce missiles for its defense and does not consider that a violation of international agreements.
After the failed launch of the Payam satellite, Iran said it would launch its Doosti satellite, according to AP.