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Iran to launch satellite; US says programme linked to missiles

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Iran will launch a satellite on Sunday, a government minister said, as part of a fledgling programme the United States says is a cover for ballistic missile development, Reuters reported.


"The Zafar satellite will be placed in orbit today from Semnan at a speed of 7,400 kilometers," Iranian Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi said, according to the official IRIB news agency.


Iran carried out at least two failed satellite launches last year.


The United States says it is concerned that long-range ballistic technology used to put satellites into orbit could also be used to launch nuclear warheads. Tehran denies that satellite activity is a cover for missile development and says it has never pursued the development of nuclear weapons.

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