Iran said it had launched into orbit for the first time a domestically made Omid (Hope) research and telecommunications satellite. The launch was timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution that ousted the U.S.-backed Shah.
Iran's satellite technology may also be used in the development of ballistic missiles, the U.S. Defense Department said. Such missiles could be used to deliver a nuclear weapon over large distances.
The United States suspects Iran of developing nuclear weapons, although Iran has long said its nuclear program is purely for civilian energy purposes.
"This development today 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 told reporters. "They (Iran) pose a real threat and it is a growing threat."
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