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Iran Launches Satellite-Carrier Rocket, US Expresses Concern

By VOA News
17 August 2008

Iran says it has successfully test-launched a rocket capable of carrying a domestically-built satellite into space.

Officials say Sunday's launch sent the satellite-carrier rocket known as Safir, or Ambassador into orbit from an Iranian space center. The officials corrected earlier reports in the Iranian media that said the rocket sent a domestic satellite into space.

White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe says the Iranian rocket-launch is troubling because the technology could be diverted to ballistic missiles. He says Iran's actions are inconsistent with its United Nations Security Council obligations.

Iranian media say President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attended the launch. State television broadcast video of a rocket heading into space.

Tehran says its space program is aimed at launching research and telecommunications satellites into orbit. In February, Iran first tested a rocket it said was capable of delivering a satellite into space.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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