Iran stresses right to enhance space technology, rejects France ‘meddlesome’ claims

Press TV – Iran has dismissed France’s “meddlesome” claim about its space program following a recent satellite launch, saying the Islamic Republic reserves the right to make scientific progress.

Tehran on Sunday launched its domestically-made Zafar (Triumph) satellite using a Simorgh (Phoenix) satellite carrier, but the missile fell short of reaching the designated orbit.

The satellite launch came on the same day that Iran unveiled a new missile, ‘Ra’d-500 (Lightning-500),’ which is equipped with a composite engine block as well as the new generation of propellant for missiles and satellite carriers.

The French Foreign Ministry on Monday condemned Iran for trying to put a satellite in space and unveiling the new ballistic missile, urging Tehran to abide by international obligations on its controversial missile program.

“In keeping with its obligations under UN Security Council Resolution 2231, Iran cannot engage in activities, including launches, connected to ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons,” said the French statement, claiming that Tehran’s ballistic missile program “hurts regional stability and affects European security.”

Rejecting the “meddlesome” statement on Tuesday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Tehran has “an inherent right to develop science and technology.”

“Iran’s defensive missile program has also nothing to do with Resolution 2231 because Iranian missiles have not been designed to carry nuclear weapons,” the official said.

Resolution 2231 endorsed a nuclear deal inked in 2015 between Tehran and six world states — the US, France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China.

The US, however, abandoned the deal in May 2018 in defiance of the resolution, throwing the future of the agreement in doubt.

The European parties initially vowed to keep the deal alive but failed to fulfill their contractual obligations under intense US pressure, prompting Tehran to begin suspending the implementation of parts of its nuclear commitments on a stage-by-stage basis a year later.

Iran says its counter-measures are reversible if the European signatories take meaningful action to save the deal.