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Iran space launch may break UN resolution: US

Published on Jan 29, 2013 5:53 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Iran may have violated United Nations (UN) resolutions if its claims to have successfully launched a monkey above Earth's atmosphere are true, a top United States (US) official said on Monday.

"Our concern with Iran's development of space launch vehicle technologies are obviously well-known," State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said, adding she could not confirm whether the launch had really taken place.

"Any space launch vehicle capable of placing an object in orbit is directly relevant to the development of long-range ballistic missiles as well as SLV (small launch vehicle) technologies, and they're all virtually identical and interchangeable."

Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi told state television on Monday that his country had taken "a big step" towards sending astronauts into space by 2020 by launching a monkey into a sub-orbital flight and returning it safely.

An image grab taken from Iran's Al-Alam TV on Jan 28, 2013, shows the Iranian flag at an unknown location flying on front of a capsule containing a live monkey which the Teheran-based Arab-language channel said they sent up into space and later retrieved intact. -- PHOTO: AFP
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