As talks surrounding Iran’s nuclear deal continue in Vienna, the country appears to be getting ready for a space launch at its Imam Khomeini Spaceport.
The Associated Press reported that satellite images taken over the weekend showed activity at the spaceport.
The images showed a support vehicle and hydraulic crane that have appeared at the site before previous launches. The satellite images have also shown an uptick in the number of cars at the location, according to the AP.
“This is fairly traditional pre-launch activity,” Jeffrey Lewis, an expert at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, told the wire service.
On Dec. 5, Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency reported that the space program was prepared to launch four satellites, including one that it described as being “under the final phase of preparation,” per the AP.
Earlier on Sunday, the U.K. warned that Iran’s chances to rejoin the nuclear agreement were running out.
“This is their last chance and it is vital that they do so. We will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon,” said Liz Truss, Britain’s Foreign Secretary.
U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley led a U.S. delegation in Vienna this week to negotiate with Iran through European allies, but Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he has warned of possible issues with the talks.
“I have to tell you, recent moves, recent rhetoric, don’t give us a lot of cause for optimism,” Blinken said.
Iran, however, has long claimed that it is not seeking nuclear weapons and says its satellite launches and rocket tests have no military component, the AP noted.