16:43 GMT +323 January 2019
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    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiled a domestically-built satellite booster rocket Wednesday, part of an ambitious space programme that has worried Western powers because they fear the same technology used to launch satellites could also deliver warheads.

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiled a domestically-built satellite booster rocket Wednesday, part of an ambitious space programme that has worried Western powers because they fear the same technology used to launch satellites could also deliver warheads.
    Officials say the light booster rocket, named Simorgh (phoenix), can carry a satellite weighing 220 pounds (100 kilogrammes) up to 310 miles (500 kilometres) above the Earth.
    Meanwhile, the county's state television broadcast images it said were of the launch of the Kavoshgar-3, or Explorer-3, rocket on Wednesday.
    Iran's defence minister said his country's successful launch was for research purposes.
    General Ahmad Vahidi did not elaborate on the rocket or its research purposes.
    Over the past two years Iran has put two rockets into space carrying equipment that collected information on determining the path, pressure, wind and temperature and sent them back to earth.
    The country sent its first domestically made telecommunications satellite into orbit last year.
    Tehran has said it needs satellites to monitor natural disasters in the earthquake-prone nation and improve its telecommunications.
    On Tuesday Iran said it was ready to send its uranium abroad for further enrichment as requested by the U.N, a decision which could signal a major shift in the Iranian position on the issue.
    Ahmadinejad said Iran will have "no problem" giving the West its low-enriched uranium and taking it back several months later when it is enriched by 20 percent.
    The enriched fuel can be turned into fuel rods for use in a nuclear reactor which the West believes could be used in making nuclear weapons.

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