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US expresses "grave concern" over Iran's satellite launch

Image Courtesy: Press TV

WASHINGTON (PTI): The US today expressed "grave concern" over launch of Iran's first indigenous satellite, saying Tehran's space programme could lead to "development of ballistic missiles".

"Developing a space launch vehicle that could put a satellite into orbit could possibly lead to development of a ballistic missile system. So that's of grave concern to us," State Department spokesperson Robert Wood told reporters here.

"UN Security Council Resolution 1718 prohibits Iran from engaging in missile-related activities," he added.

Tehran, which placed its first homemade satellite 'Omid' in orbit last evening using a Safir-2 rocket, has insisted that it is for peaceful purposes.

Meanwhile, officials from the US, Russia, China, Great Britain, France and Germany are scheduled to meet in Germany tomorrow to discuss Iran's nuclear issue.

Wood said the US wants to engage Russia and China more actively on issues related to Iran.

"This administration wants to engage Russia and China on these important issues," he said, adding that the two countries shared America's concern not only with regard to Iran's nuclear program but also with missile technology.

"So, we will, in future discussions with both Russians and the Chinese, and others, frankly bring up this issue about Iran's activities in both of these areas that I mentioned. It's of great concern what Iran has been doing as I've mentioned before," Wood said.

"We want to see Iran stop. We're trying to figure the best way forward to do that," he said.

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