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Iran: Rocket With Animals Sent Into Space

Iran says it sent a research rocket carrying live animals into space Wednesday, prompting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to hail the country's scientific achievements as "miraculous."

Iran's state-run Press TV said the rocket contained a rat, two turtles and worms.

Mr. Ahmadinejad said the research project is "mostly on the very edge of modern technology." He also said Tehran is working to achieve scientific progress, not military confrontation.

Iran says the launch involved a Kavoshgar (Explorer) 3 missile, which is capable of carrying satellites.

Mr. Ahmadinejad also unveiled a domestically-built satellite booster rocket named Simorgh and three new satellites.

Tehran's ambitious space program has worried Western countries. They fear the same technology used to launch satellites could also launch nuclear warheads.

The president's announcement came as the country celebrated National Space Day. The day is part of the celebrations leading up to the anniversary of Iran's Islamic Revolution next week.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.