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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran on Sunday said it had successfully tested what it called a rocket that had reached space. The announcement, made on state-run television, was unclear, but appeared to refer to Iran's efforts to launch commercial satellites into orbit.
Iran's Science and Technology and Defense ministries built the craft, the state-run television quoted Mohsen Bahrami, the head of Iran's Space Research Center, as saying.
Bahrami provided no other details beyond saying that Iran had successfully launched what he called a space rocket or space missile.
The rocket itself, perhaps built with North Korean help, could be converted within a few years to a type that delivers a warhead 3,000 miles away. That would help lift Iran's military posture from purely defensive to a first-strike capability.
Iran's ambition to project power beyond the Middle East was clear enough after Russia launched two satellites for it in 2005. Iran now hopes to put four more satellites into space by 2010 by itself. They could simply provide Internet access and other telecommunications, or some might be used for military surveillance. l