Iran General NewsIran rocket launch a 'provocative act': White House

Iran rocket launch a ‘provocative act’: White House

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ImageAFP: The White House Wednesday branded Iran's rocket launch a "provocative act" as some observers raised fears the craft could be used to develop ballistic missiles, as well as to launch satellites. ImageWASHINGTON (AFP) — The White House Wednesday branded Iran's rocket launch a "provocative act" as some observers raised fears the craft could be used to develop ballistic missiles, as well as to launch satellites.

White House deputy spokesman Bill Burton said that the Obama administration, which is locked in a nuclear showdown with Tehran, was still checking out reports of the launch.

But he added such a move by Iran would be a "provocative act."

The Kavoshgar 3 (Explorer) rocket was launched Wednesday, Iranian state-owned Al-Alam television reported.

State television's website said it was carrying "live animals" — a rat, turtles and worms, the first such experiment by Iran in space technology.

Iran's space program has sent alarm bells ringing in the international community, which has voiced concern over the Islamic republic's development of technology that could be used for military purposes.

The West suspects Iran of secretly trying to build an atomic bomb and fears the technology used to launch space rockets could be diverted into developing long-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

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