Iran launches space probe

Iranian space programme puts animals into space but raises regional concerns.

    Tehran has successfully launched a probe into space - with two turtles, a hamster and a worm on board.

    The Islamic republic also plans to unveil three new satellites on Wednesday - all part its ambitious independent space programme - which coincides with celebrations of the country's 31st Islamic revolution anniversary.

    The development is a great concern to the US who fears that the country's nuclear programme is at a threateningly advanced stage.

    Some experts think the Iranian nuclear programme and space programme are linked.

    Martin Navias, a senior research associate at the Centre for Defence Studies in the UK, told Al Jazeera on Wednesday that "its one and the same technology - if you can put a satellite into space, you have the technology to make a very long range surface to surface ballistic missile".

    "This is an extremely dangerous period ... it challenges the balance of power and other countries will begin to react", Navias said.

    Al Jazeera's Stefanie Dekker reports.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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