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Iran said Sunday it successfully launched three satellites into space with a rocket that had multiple failures in the past, the latest for a program that the West says improves Tehran’s ballistic missiles.

The launch comes as heightened tensions grip the wider Middle East over Israel’s continued war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, sparking fears of a regional conflict.

While Iran has not intervened militarily in the conflict, it has faced increased pressure within its theocracy for action after a deadly Islamic State suicide bombing earlier this month and as proxy groups like Yemen’s Houthi rebels conduct attacks linked to the war. Meanwhile, Western nations remain worried about Iran’s rapidly expanding nuclear program.

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