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Concern Over Iranian Launch


Iran announced that it has launched its first domestically-produced satellite into space. The regime's official news organization said the launch took place as part of celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

The news was met with concern by members of the international community. "The technology is very similar to ballistic [missile] capabilities," said Eric Chevallier, spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry. "We can't but link this to the very serious concerns about the development of military nuclear capacity." German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called the launch "a worrying development and a disturbing sign."

U.S. Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said concern about Iran's launching a space vehicle utilizing technology that could be used to develop long-range ballistic missiles was not limited to the United States and Europe. Israel, Arab nations and Russia, he said, were also worried about Iran's intentions.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that the launch of the space vehicle "does not convince us that Iran is acting responsibly to advance stability or security in the region":

"This continues to underscore that our administration will use all elements of our national power to deal with Iran and to help it be a responsible member of the international community."

After meetings in Washington with German Foreign Minister Steinmeier and British Foreign Minister David Miliband, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the U.S. and its allies need to work together to ensure that Iran fulfills its international obligations.

"Iran has an opportunity to step up and become a productive member of the international community," said Secretary of State Clinton. "As President Obama said, we are reaching out a hand, but the fist has to unclench."
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