Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Iran satellite launch 'cause for global concern'

From THE JERUSALEM POST, Feb. 3, 2009, by JPost.com Staff*:

Iran's successful launch of its first domestically-produced satellite into orbit is "cause for concern not just here in the United States but in Europe, throughout the Middle East and I believe throughout the greater world," Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell was quoted as saying on Tuesday. ...Iran poses "a real threat and it is a growing threat..." ....

Also in the report, US State Department spokesman Robert Wood was quoted as saying that the US was "gravely" concerned over the launch.

The 'Omid,' meaning hope in Persian, was sent into orbit on the order of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to mark the Islamic Republic's 30th anniversary, according to Iranian news agencies. 'Omid' was said to have been placed in the orbit by an Iranian-made 'Safir' satellite-carrier.

In Jerusalem, the head of Israel's Space Agency, Zvi Kaplan, said initial reports show that a satellite was launched. "From what I have been investigating it is true," he said.

...Iran has in the past launched satellites using rockets built by other nations, but this was the first announcement of such a launch with an Iranian-made rocket...

*AP contributed to this report.
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