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Iranian Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, is crossing the wires and has said that Iran is preparing a site for launching a satellite, a program US says is ‘a cover for ballistic missile development’, according to Reuters.

Iran is preparing a site for launching a satellite, Iran’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi tweeted on Monday, highlighting a program the United States says is a cover for ballistic missile development.

“Yes, a site is being prepared for placing the Zafar satellite into orbit” Azari-Jahromi tweeted, along with a link to an NPR story which noted that satellite imagery suggested the Islamic Republic is preparing for a space launch.

Market implications

This comes after Zarif said that despite tensions with Washington, Tehran was not ruling out ‘possibility that people will change their approach and recognize the realities’.

There has been growing tension between Washington and Tehran since 2018 when President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal with Iran. The US has since reimposed tough sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.

“For us, it doesn’t matter who is sitting in the White House, what matters is how they behave,” he said, according to Der Spiegel. “The Trump administration can correct its past, lift the sanctions and come back to the negotiating table. We’re still at the negotiating table. They’re the ones who left.”

Oil is in focus and traders are keeping a close eye on what developments there are in the Middle East. For now, however, it is the coronavirus acting as the catalyst. More on that here: WTI: Bears going to town with the coronavirus, fresh lows of $52.18 printed