Iran builds new space center to launch satellites

Iran builds new space center to launch satellites

TEHRAN, Iran - The Associated Press
Iran builds new space center to launch satellites

An image grab shows a large rocket being fired from the country's first space centre. AFP Photo

Iran's defense minister says construction is being completed on a new space center from where domestically made satellites will be launched into orbit.

Gen. Ahmad Vahidi's comments were the first confirmation that Iran is building a new space facility amid its standoff with the West over Tehran's controversial nuclear program.

The official IRNA news agency quoted Vahidi as saying the new center will be named after the Islamic Republic's founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Vahidi didn't say where the new facility is located.

Iran's ambitious space program has raised concerns in the West because of possible military applications. The same rocket technology used to send satellites into orbit can also be retooled to make intercontinental warheads.

iran, space, center, satellite