Iran says it sends second monkey into space, brings it back safely
Dubai: Iran said on Saturday it had sent a second live monkey into space and brought it back safely, the latest demonstration of the country`s missile capabilities, state news agency IRNA reported.
"President Hassan Rouhani ... congratulated Iranian scientists and experts on successfully sending a second living creature into space," the news agency said.
Iran said it launched its first monkey to space in January.
Rouhani used Twitter to mark the latest event, a demonstration of rocket power that is likely to cause concern in the West and among some Gulf states, which are worried about Iran`s nuclear ambitions.
He said the monkey was named Fargam and had been returned to earth "safe and sound."
"In total, this is the second monkey sent into space and returned in perfect health to Iran," Rouhani said in another Twitter message.
In November, the world`s six powers made a breakthrough deal for Tehran to curb its nuclear programme in return for limited sanctions easing.
The agreement appeared to face its first major difficulty on Friday with Russia warning that expanding a US sanctions blacklist could seriously complicate the deal`s implementation.
The Islamic Republic denies seeking weapons capability and says it seeks only electricity from its uranium enrichment so it can export more of its considerable oil wealth.
The West worries that long-range ballistic technology used to propel Iranian satellites into orbit could be put to use dispatching nuclear warheads to a target.
"We are aware of reports that Iran has launched an object into space," said Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the US National Security Council. "Our concerns with Iran`s development of space launch vehicle technologies are well-known, and we continue to monitor these developments closely."
Riki Ellison, a US missile defense expert, said the launch, if proven true, showed Iran had not halted work on its long range missile development program.
"If it`s true, they continue to expand and grow their kong range missile capabilities regardless of their overture to the West with self reduction of their nuclear capabilities," Ellison said.
Iran`s Gulf Arab neighbours view Iran missile capabilities as a threat. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have spent heavily in the past few years on advanced US-made missile defence systems.
Iran`s efforts to develop and test ballistic missiles and build a space launch capability have contributed to Israeli calls for pre-emptive strikes on Iranian nuclear sites and billions of dollars of US ballistic missile defence spending.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Over 60 cadets killed in Pakistan police academy attack
- DNA: Terrorists' new strategy of snatching weapons from Indian security personnel
- Watch: PM Narendra Modi's ''progressive'' remark on triple talaq
- Panel discussion over vote bank politics on Hinduism
- Panel discussion over delayed development in Ayodhya
- Explosion in Delhi's Naya Bazar, one killed; anti-terror wing, Special cell at spot
- WATCH: Akhilesh Yadav's emotional speech revealing the real reason behind Samajwadi Party crisis; he was about to cry
- India vs New Zealand: Awestruck Kiwis witness MS Dhoni driving his Hummer in Ranchi, and photo goes viral
- Lashkar-e-Toiba claims responsibility for Uri attack in posters pasted in Pakistan town
- Naya Bazar explosion: Home Ministry seeks report from Delhi Police; one dead, 5 injured