Tehran's live-monkey space launch alarms western powers


Iran said yesterday it had launched a live monkey into space, seeking to show off missile delivery systems that are alarming the West, which fears the technology could be used to deliver a nuclear warhead.

The defence ministry announced the launch as world powers sought to agree a date and venue with Iran for resuming talks to resolve a stand-off over Tehran’s nuclear programme.

Efforts to nail down a new meeting have failed repeatedly and western powers fear Iran is exploiting the diplomatic vacuum to hone the means to produce nuclear weapons.

The Islamic Republic denies seeking weapons capability and says it seeks only electricity from its uranium enrichment so it can export more of its considerable oil wealth. The powers have proposed new talks in February. – (Reuters)