Space Travel News  





. Iran insists satellite launch has no military aim

The structure and size of the satellite are shown in this pre-launch photograph of Omid being explained to Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
by Staff Writers
Tehran (AFP) Feb 4, 2009
Iran insisted on Wednesday that the launch of its first home-built satellite has no military aims, despite deep concerns in arch-foe Israel and the West about the development.

"This is a scientific and technical achievement and has no military aims," foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi told reporters.

Iran's launch of the Omid (Hope) satellite carried by the home-built Safir-2 rocket on Monday has set alarm bells ringing among Western powers already at loggerheads with Tehran over its nuclear programme.

But hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the move signalled Tehran's technological achievement and was an attempt to break the Western world's monopoly on science.

"We should try to break this scientific monopoly," he said at a seminar on science in Tehran.

"Today science and other technologies are monopolised. We should try to get science out of the control of the arrogant and the selfish," he said, adding the satellite launch had raised Iran's global status "one hundred steps".

The West suspects Iran of secretly trying to build an atomic bomb and fears the technology used to launch a space rocket could be diverted into developing long-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is for peaceful energy purposes and that it has the right to technology already in the hands of many other nations, including archfoe the United States.

The West and Israel reacted strongly to the satellite launch, which came ahead of a meeting in Germany on Wednesday of senior diplomats from six world powers on the nuclear standoff.

But Ghashghavi brushed off the concerns, saying Tehran believed in "respecting international rules about non-militarised space."

He also said it was Iran's "national right to pursue peaceful nuclear activities."

"This is not something that we claim, but it is a reality and the United States and members of the five plus one group must also be realistic about it," he said referring to the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany meetiong on Wednesday.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs expressed dismay with Iran following overtures by US President Barack Obama, who said last month he was willing to extend the hand of diplomacy to Tehran after 30 years of severed ties.

"This action does not convince us that Iran is acting responsibly to advance stability or security in the region," Gibbs said.

"All of this continues to underscore that our administration will use all elements of our national power to deal with Iran and to help it be a responsible member of the international community."

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also warned Iran it faced consequences if it failed to respect demands that it halt its uranium enrichment, the process that makes fuel for nuclear plants but can be diverted to make the core of an atomic bomb.

"President Obama has signalled his intention to support tough and direct diplomacy with Iran, but if Iran does not comply with the UNSC and the IAEA mandate, there must be consequences," Clinton said.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Olmert called for tougher sanctions against Tehran.

"The Iranian satellite launch constitutes a technological success for Tehran" which is boosting "its military potential in the intelligence sector," he said in a statement.

In London, British Foreign Office minister Bill Rammell voiced "serious concerns" over the launch.

French foreign ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier said the technology for launching satellites was "very similar to ballistic (missile) capabilities.

"We can't but link this to the very serious concerns about the development of military nuclear capability."

Western powers worried about Iran satellite technology
Paris (AFP) Feb 3 - Western powers working to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions voiced "acute concern" Tuesday over the Islamic Republic's technological leap in launching its first home-built satellite into orbit.

The technology for launching satellites "is very similar to ballistic (missile) capabilities," said French foreign ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier.

"We can't but link this to the very serious concerns about the development of military nuclear capability."

In Washington, the new administration of President Barack Obama said Iran's action would not advance stability in the Middle East region.

"Efforts to develop missile delivery capability, efforts to continue an illicit nuclear programme, or threats that Iran makes towards Israel and its sponsorshop of terror are of acute concern to this administration," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

Iran sent its Omid (Hope) satellite into space on Monday evening carried by the home-built Safir-2 space rocket, local news agencies reported.

A US official, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, confirmed that "it appears that the Iranians conducted a launch of a low-orbit satellite."

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called it a "worrying development" which showed "the technical achievements that Iran is obviously capable of and the threats."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad Tuesday hailed the launch, declaring his country has "officially achieved a presence in space."

But its timing also heightened concerns in the international community.

The launch announcement came on the eve of a meeting in Germany of senior diplomats from the five permanent member states of the UN Security Council plus Germany which have been trying to end the nuclear standoff with Iran.

Despite UN sanctions Tehran continues to defy calls to freeze its uranium enrichment.

The West suspects Iran of wanting enriched uranium to build a nuclear weapon, a charge Tehran denies claiming its nuclear work is for peaceful energy purposes.

"We have been trying for years to stop Iran from developing its own nuclear program and its own nuclear weapons. So far we have not succeeded," said Steinmeier, noting that joint efforts with Washington were even more urgent.

British Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell said Iran's satellite launch just underscored and illustrated "our serious concerns about Iran's intentions."

It also "sends the wrong signal to the international community which has already passed five successive UN Security Council resolutions on Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programme," Rammell said in a statement.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also warned Iran that while "President Obama has signaled his intention to support tough and direct diplomacy with Iran," if Tehran does not abide by UN resolutions "there must be consequences."

A NATO officer Tuesday noted that if Iran's satellite launch is confirmed it would mean that Tehran has missiles capable of striking Israel and also southeast Europe.

As Iran's arch-foe in the Mideast, Israel sees Tehran's nuclear drive as a major threat, and on Tuesday the Israeli defence minister urged Washington not to exclude the option of military action against the Islamic Republic.

"We must reach a strategic understanding with the United States on the essence of Iran's nuclear programme and make sure that even if they choose a diplomatic track to halt it, the talks must be limited to a short time and then harsh sanctions and readiness to take action," Ehud Barak said in a speech.

Gibbs said the Obama administration "will use all elements of our national power to deal with Iran and to help it be a responsible member of the international community."

Ahmadinejad however dismissed suggestions Iran's space programme has military goals, saying the satellite carried a message of "peace and brotherhood" to the world.

"We have a divine view of technology unlike the dominating powers of the world who have Satanic views," he said.

Related Links
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News




Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
Western powers worried about Iran satellite technology
Paris (AFP) Feb 3, 2009
Western powers working to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions voiced "great concern" Tuesday over the Islamic Republic's technological leap in launching its first home-built satellite into orbit.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Two Rockets Fly Through Auroral Arc
  • U.S. rocketry competition is under way
  • ATK And NASA Complete Major Milestones For NASA Constellation Program
  • KSC Operations And Checkout Facility Ready To Start Orion Spacecraft Integration

  • Ariane 5 Ready For HOT BIRD 10, NSS-9 And Spirale Satellites Launch
  • Arianespace To Launch Hispasat 1E
  • Arianespace seals four-billion-euro rocket deal
  • Arianespace Orders 35 Ariane 5 ECA Launchers From Astrium

  • Shuttle Engineers Study Fuel Valve
  • NASA delays Discovery mission to space station
  • STS-119 Mission Preps Move Forward
  • Discovery Gets New Valves - Crew Practices Simulated Liftoff

  • Russia To Use Two Launch Pads At Baikonur For ISS Missions
  • Kogod Students Pioneer Branding Potential Of International Space Station
  • Spacehab To Support Pre-Launch Preparations For Russian Module
  • Russia Tests Phone Home To Santa Network

  • Iran insists satellite launch has no military aim
  • Western powers worried about Iran satellite technology
  • NASA Ames Becomes Home To Newly Launched Singularity University
  • Successful Test In Development Of NASA's New Crew Rocket

  • China plans own satellite navigation system by 2015: state media
  • Fengyun-3A Weather Satellite Begins Weather Monitoring
  • Shenzhou-7 Monitor Satellite Finishes Mission After 100 Days In Space
  • China Launches Third Fengyun-2 Series Weather Satellite

  • NASA And Caltech Test Steep-Terrain Rover
  • ASI Chaos Small Robot To Participate In Series Of Exercises
  • Iowa Staters Advance Developmental Robotics With Goal Of Teaching Robots To Learn
  • Japanese security robot nets intruders

  • Spirit Resumes Driving
  • NASA And Google Launch Virtual Exploration Of Mars
  • NASA-Derived Technology Captures Unique Inaugural Image
  • Mars Rover Team Diagnosing Unexpected Behavior

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright Space.TV Corporation. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space.TV Corp on any Web page published or hosted by Space.TV Corp. Privacy Statement