US concern after Iranian satellite launch

Tehran has rejected Western concerns that Iran's space launches are furthering a ballistic missile program.

The US has voiced concerns about Iran's missile program after Tehran announced the launch of a satellite into orbit.

The satellite is the fourth successfully placed into orbit by Iran, the Defence Ministry in Tehran said.

After the launch two years ago of a monkey into space, Iran plans a human space mission by 2020.

Tehran has rejected Western concerns that the space launches are furthering a ballistic missile program.

"As we've said before, Iran's missile program continues to pose a dangerous threat to the region and is an issue we monitor closely," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

"And our long-standing concerns regarding Iran's missile development efforts are shared by the international community, which has passed a series of UN Security Council resolutions focused on Iran's proliferation-sensitive activities."

She said that ballistic missile capabilities to deliver nuclear warheads are part of ongoing negotiations between Iran and six world powers over Tehran's nuclear program.

"That issue has been discussed and will continue to be discussed as part of the negotiations," Psaki said.

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