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Iran Launches Satellite-Carrier Rocket

  • VOA News

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

Officials on Sunday corrected earlier reports by Iranian media that said the country's first domestic satellite had been sent into orbit. Instead, officials say Sunday's launch sent the satellite-carrier rocket known as the "Safir" (or Ambassador) into orbit from Iran's space station.

The Fars news agency says Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attended the launch. State television broadcast video of the rocket heading into space.

Iran first tested a rocket it said was capable of delivering a satellite into space in February. The country has been pursuing a space program for several years. It says it wants its own satellites for research and telecommunications.

The United States has expressed concern about Iran's rocket launches while pressing its accusation that Tehran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says both its space program and nuclear program are peaceful.

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