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White House: Iran Rocket Launch ‘Troubling’
CRAWFORD (AFP)–The White House said Sunday Iran’s announcement it had launched a home-built rocket into space was “troubling” because such technology could also be used for ballistic missiles.
Fra Yahoo News:
“The Safir (Ambassador) rocket was successfully launched. All its systems … are Iranian made,” Reza Taghipour, head of Iran’s space agency, told state television, adding that a “test satellite was put into orbit.”
“We have paved the way for placing a satellite in space in future,” state television said, showing images of the pre-dawn rocket launch.
Western governments suspect Iran is trying to build an atomic weapon and have voiced concern that the technology used in the Islamic republic’s space program could be diverted to military use, claims denied by Tehran.
Sunday’s development came amid an international standoff over Tehran’s long-standing refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, a process which makes nuclear fuel but also the core of an atomic bomb.
“The Iranian development and testing of rockets is troubling and raises further questions about their intentions,” spokesman Gordon Johndroe said as U.S. President George W. Bush spent time on his Texas ranch.
“This action and dual use possibilities for their ballistic missile program are inconsistent with their U.N. Security Council obligations,” said Johndroe.