Iran insists its satellite serves no military purpose

Other News Materials 4 February 2009 16:46 (UTC +04:00)

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi said on Wednesday that the country's newly launched satellite serves no military purpose, local satellite Press TV reported on its website.

Dismissing the concerns over its recent launch of a domestic satellite, Qashqavi said that "Iran's space advancement serves no military purpose."

The launch of the country's satellite "is a scientific and technical achievement and has no military aim," he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, Tehran announced the Omid lightweight telecommunications satellite, its first home-made satellite, has been successfully sent into space by the Iranian-produced satellite carrier Safir 2.

The U.S. administration of President Barack Obama linked the new Iran's developments with its nuclear disputes and viewed Tehran's efforts to develop nuclear capability and to sponsor terrorism as "acute concern."

The U.S. would use all elements of the national power to deal with Tehran, the White House said on Tuesday, adding that "efforts to develop missile delivery capability, efforts that continue on an illicit nuclear program, or threats that Iran makes toward Israel, and its sponsorship of terror are of acute concern to this administration."

France also expressed its deep concern over Iran's recent step towards developing its home-made satellite. Its Foreign Ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier said that Iran's satellite technology " is similar to ballistic capabilities," which "can be linked to the serious concerns about the developments of military nuclear capabilities."

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak urged Wednesday that the international community should tighten sanctions on Iran in light of its launch of the first home-made satellite on Tuesday.

The United States and Israel have consistently refused to rule out the possibility of military strikes against Iran over its refusal to halt its nuclear program, accusing Tehran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program.

Iran has denied the charges and insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only, reported Xinhua.