Iran test-fires satellite rocket
Tehran, February 3, 2010
Iran test-fired a domestically made satellite-carrier rocket on Wednesday, Iranian media said, a move that may worry Western powers who fear Tehran is seeking to build a nuclear bomb and missile delivery systems.
Western nations are concerned that the long-range ballistic technology used to put satellites into orbit can also be used to launch warheads, although Iran says it has no plans to do so.
"Iran successfully launches home-built Kavoshgar-3 satellite rocket," English-language television station Press TV said.
It said the rocket carried an "experimental capsule" and that it was the "first Iranian launch into orbit with a living thing", without giving details. It showed footage of a rocket blasting off from a launchpad.
Other state media also reported the test. Iranian media said earlier the Islamic Republic would on Wednesday unveil three new satellites and another satellite carrier, named Simorgh.
The reports said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attended an official presentation ceremony in Tehran. It coincides with a 10-day period of national events marking the 31st anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Exactly one year ago, Iran launched a domestically made satellite into orbit for the first time. It has said the launch of the Omid satellite was for peaceful telecommunications and research purposes.
Iran, the world's fifth-largest oil exporter, says its nuclear programme is solely to generate electricity, and Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday Iran was ready to send its enriched uranium abroad in exchange for nuclear fuel.
In December, Iran said it test-fired a long-range, upgraded Sejil 2 missile. -Reuters