Sunday, August 17, 2008

Iran test-fires rocket

(CNN) — Iran test-fired a rocket that it plans to launch later to carry a research satellite into space, state-run media reported Sunday.

The launch of Iran’s two-stage rocket, called Safir or “messenger,” was successful on Saturday and “paved the way for placing the first Iranian satellite in orbit,” the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

The test launch comes amid back and forth between Iran and Western powers on the country’s controversial nuclear program, and concerned senior U.S. officials, who said Iran could use the rocket to deliver warheads.

“The Iranian development and testing of rockets is troubling and raises further questions about their intentions,” said National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe.

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