Iran Conducts Space Launch

Bill Gertz

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center, gestures towards a model of Iran's new domestically-built light booster rocket, named Simorgh, in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has unveiled a domestically-built satellite booster rocket, part of an ambitious space program that has worried Western powers because they fear the same technology used to launch satellites could also deliver warheads. (AP Photo)

Iran this week conducted the first launch of a new rocket that the Pentagon views as a key element of Tehran’s effort to build long-range missiles.

The launch of the Simorgh space launch vehicle on Tuesday was judged by U.S. intelligence agencies to be partly successful but did not reach orbit, said defense officials familiar with reports of the test.

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