Iran’s launch of a locally-made satellite is raising concern in the West as to just how far Iranian technology has progressed. The launch of the research and telecommunications satellite came as the country celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. Tehran says it is a major step in its space technology programme.
In Washington, the launch dominated a meeting between US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her British and German counterparts. Germany’s Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said: “The fact that Tehran possessed such technical capabilities means there is a need to focus attention on Iran over the coming weeks and months.” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s nuclear ambitions will be the subject of six-party talks in Germany today – the first since Barak Obama moved to the White House. Obama has called for “tough and direct” diplomacy with Tehran, which, in a departure from the Bush administration, could involve talks with Iran.