Iran launches own space satellite to mark 30 years since revolution
Iran has claimed success in launching its first home-built satellite into orbit, using a rocket which the West believes is part of its long-term ballistic missile programme.
Until official satellite spotters confirm Tehranâ€™s claim, made by President Ahmadinejad, the Iranian leader, on state television, the announcement will be treated with a degree of scepticism. The first two attempts at launching an Iranian-built satellite, in February and August last year, failed.
If the Iranian Presidentâ€™s claim turns out to be true, however, it will provide further proof of Tehranâ€™s growing ability to master the technology for developing a long-range ballistic missile.
Despite Mr Ahmadinejadâ€™s insistence that the satellite mission was purely for peaceful purposes, experts said there was an undeniable link between the rocket launch and Iranâ€™s military programme.
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