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Iran hits back at Britain over satellite launch
Iran hits back at Britain over satellite launch
by AFP Staff Writers
Tehran (AFP) Oct 4, 2023

Iran on Wednesday condemned Britain for criticising the Islamic republic over the launch of its latest military satellite into orbit.

The Islamic republic announced last week the "successful" launch of the Noor-3 imaging satellite by its three-stage Qassed rocket, in the latest display of its aerospace technology.

Western nations have repeatedly warned against such activity, saying the same technology can be used for ballistic missiles including ones designed to deliver nuclear warheads.

Britain on Tuesday denounced the Iranian move, saying it had been done "despite repeated calls from the UN Security Council to halt its ballistic missile programme".

"Iran's actions further prove its disregard of international restrictions and highlight the grave threat posed by the regime to global security," it said in a statement.

Iran hit back on Wednesday, condemning the British statement as "interventionist".

"Achieving scientific and research progress, including in the aerospace field, is the right of the Islamic Republic of Iran," said foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani.

He added that Iran "has reserved the use of peaceful technologies in the path of scientific development and research."

Last week's launch was carried out by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

It also drew criticism from Berlin.

"We and our partners remain committed to using all diplomatic means available to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons," Germany's foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

Iran insists it is not seeking nuclear weapons and that its satellite and rocket launches are for civil or defence purposes only.

The Islamic republic has been under crippling US sanctions since Washington's 2018 withdrawal from a landmark nuclear deal which granted Iran sanctions relief in return for curbs on its atomic programme to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.

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