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Steve Jones

Iran Launches Monkey, Raises International Concern

By January 28, 2013

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On January 28, Iran announced that it had successfully launched a monkey on a suborbital trip into space, then successfully retrieved it. The news raised concern in the West because, under United Nations mandate, Iran is not supposed to be working on a ballistic missile program.

News of the launch came just a week after the United Nations slapped new sanctions on North Korea for its December 2012 launch of a satellite into space.

Iran is subject to sanctions as well, both from the United Nations and the United States. The sanctions aim to strangle Iran's nuclear program and any ballistic delivery systems.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said the U.S. had not independently verified the launch. Nevertheless, "Any space launch vehicle capable of placing an object in orbit is directly relevant to the development of long-range ballistic missiles," she said.

Nuland added that "UN Security Council Resolution 1929 prohibits Iran from undertaking any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology."

So what's next? Perhaps the launch of more sanctions at Iran.

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