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Iran Plans to Launch Satellite by 2011

TEHRAN, Iran — It seems no one is willing to help, so Iran says it will send a communications satellite into orbit on its own.

Tehran says the satellite will help data communication, but Israeli media have claimed that it's a spy satellite. Iran announced a couple weeks ago that Italy would launch the satellite, after waiting for years for Russia to do it. But the Italian space company that it had supposedly lined up denied the report.

In February, Iran launched a satellite using an Iranian rocket the first time, while Russia launched the country's first satellite in 2005. Iran's telecommunications minister says the decision to launch this latest satellite is a show of Iran's progress in space technology.

World powers have expressed concern that the same rocket technology used to launch satellites could also be used for military purposes.