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Tehran rejects US allegations that its satellite program has ‘military dimension’

Iran’s government on Wednesday rejected US allegations that the its satellite program has a military dimension, days after the failed launch of its latest satellite. “The subject of satellite launch vehicles and satellites is a civilian matter,” IRNA quoted Defense Minister Amir Hatami as saying.

“We could use a satellite for defense purposes, but the satellite launcher is a completely non-defensive subject and it’s the definite and absolute right of the Iranian nation.” The minister added that “there is no prohibition in the world” against this satellite program.

Iran attempted on Sunday to launch a satellite dubbed the Zafar – Farsi for ‘Victory’ – but it failed to reach orbit. Washington on Tuesday accused Tehran of using satellites as a cover to develop its missile program.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the technology involved in launching satellites was “virtually identical” to the know-how for long-range ballistic missiles, AFP said. Hatami said Iran was only doing the same as “all other countries” with satellite programs.

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