Iran says first own satellite for peaceful purposes
ADDIS ABABA |
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters)- Iran said its first domestically made satellite, launched into orbit Tuesday, was for peaceful purposes only and that all nations should benefit from such technology.
Iran announced the launch of its first satellite earlier on Tuesday at a time of persistent international tension over its nuclear program.
"Iran's satellite technology is for purely peaceful purposes and to meet the needs of the country," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told a news conference on the sidelines of an African Union summit in Addis Ababa.
Tehran launched the Omid (Hope) satellite as it marks the 30th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution this month.
"Satellites are a very essential means of gathering environmental data, climate data ... and lots of necessary information that we need for technological, agricultural and economic projects," Mottaki said.
The long-range ballistic technology used to put satellites into orbit can also be used for launching weapons, although Iran says it has no plans to do so.
Mottaki said Iran believed the latest technologies should be available to all states.
"The difference between our country and some countries which have these capacities is that we believe science belongs to all humanity," he said. "Some people believe that advanced technologies belong to some countries exclusively."
Mottaki said Iran's military capacity was purely defensive.
"In Iran's history, in the last 100 years, you cannot point to aggression by Iran against any nation," he said.
"Iran's people are peace-loving they want peace with all countries around the world."
(Editing by Barry Moody)
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