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Trump says US 'not involved' in Iranian rocket failure

Trump says US not involved in Iranian rocket failure

Washington: President Donald Trump on Friday released a photograph of an apparently failed Iranian rocket launch and said that the United States had nothing to do with it.

Tehran has made no official comment on the indications from aerial photos that a rocket exploded Thursday on the launch pad at the Semnan Space Center in northern Iran.

But Trump tweeted a high-resolution picture of the location, with annotations pointing to damaged vehicles and the launch gantry, saying it involved Iran's Safir satellite rocket. The incident comes after months of tensions between Iran and Washington.

Trump last year unilaterally withdrew from the landmark 2015 international deal that placed limits on Tehran's nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions, and he reimposed crippling financial penalties. "The United States of America was not involved in the catastrophic accident during final launch preparations for the Safir SLV Launch at Semnan Launch Site One in Iran," Trump said in a tweet.

Publicly available satellite photos also show what appears to have been the rocket's explosion on its launch pad.

Tehran was believed to have been planning a third attempt to loft a satellite into space, after two launches in January and February failed to place satellites in orbit. Iran's Minister for Communications and Information Technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi rejected reports that a satellite had been lost, but did not comment on the alleged launch-pad explosion.

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