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Iran Launches Second Satellite Into Orbit

Iran launched its second satellite into orbit using a rocket Western officials say is "very similar" to a ballistic missile.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 6/15/2011, 9:44 PM / Last Update: 6/15/2011, 9:38 PM

 

Iran successfully launched Wednesday its second domestically built satellite into orbit, Iran's Arabic language al-Alam television reported.

"Iran launched a domestically built rocket and the Rasad 1 (satellite) has been put into orbit," al-Alam reported.

In February 2009, Iran launched its first domestically-built satellite, OMID.

Israel, the United States, and Western allies fear Iran is seeking to build nuclear bombs and are concerned that the long-range ballistic technology used to put satellites into orbit can also be used to launch warheads.

The Safir-2 rocket Iran uses to put satellites into orbit has been described by Western observers as "very similar" to the ballistic missiles. 

Israel, the United States, and Western allies fear Iran is seeking to build nuclear bombs and are concerned that the long-range ballistic technology used to put satellites into orbit can also be used to launch warheads. 

The launch comes as the Russian Federation, which has given technical assistance to the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, and which has to date shielded it from overt UN interference, pressures Iran to cooperate with IAEA inspectors.

Iran, which recently trebled its uranium enrichment and moved its enrichment efforts underground, says its nuclear program is solely to generate electricity.

The Rasad 1 (Observation) satellite will be used for transmitting images and weather forecasts, Irani TV reported.