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US brands Iran's rocket launch "provocative"

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US brands Iran's rocket launch "provocative"


Actions speak louder than words.

Only hours after Iran appeared to present a more conciliatory stance over its nuclear programme, Washington has slammed Tehran’s launch of a satellite rocket, describing it as “provocative.”

On Tuesday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appeared to agree in principle to swapping enriched uranium for nuclear fuel. However, the US and key allies have warned Iran to back that talk with deeds.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: ‘‘Unfortunately, the Iranian side did not support this preliminary agreement and started to move towards alternative ideas, which were not supported by the IAEA. If Iran is ready to return to the original formula, we will only welcome this.’‘

Earlier, Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Iran had to make real concessions over its atomic programme.

‘‘If this is all just tactics, then the international community will agree to take further action and in this case we could not rule out sanctions because it is not words that matter, but actions,” he said.

The West suspects Iran of trying to use its atomic programme to build a bomb and fears the long-range missile technology could be used to launch warheads.

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