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Iran says it develops satellite despite sanctions
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11:23, February 08, 2009

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Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Saturday that the development of satellite by Iran had been carried out despite sanctions from the West, the official IRNA news agency reported.

"The economic sanctions imposed on the Iranian nation led to significant scientific progress and achievements such as launching of Omid satellite," Khamenei said, pointing at the noneffective of the sanctions imposed by the West.

Earlier on Tuesday, Tehran announced that the Omid lightweight telecommunications satellite, its first home-made satellite, had been successfully sent into space by the Iranian-produced satellite carrier Safir 2, evoking the West's concern over its potential military purposes.

"Certain big powers still try to ignore the significant role of Iran in global developments," he said when meeting with a group of commanders of the Iranian Air Force, on the occasion of celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

Shortly after the victory of the Iran's Islamic Revolution over the regime of Shah in 1979, a number of economic, trade, scientific and military sanctions against Iran were imposed by the U.S. government, or under the U.S. pressure.

Currently the sanctions include a total embargo on dealings with Iran by U.S. citizens, the investments of the world's oil and gas companies in Iran, a ban on selling aircraft and the spare parts to Iranian aviation companies and also a ban on exporting the military technologies and arms to Iran which may help the country to expand the dimensions of its sensitive nuclear activities.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak urged Wednesday that the international community should tighten sanctions on Iran in light of its launch of the first home-made satellite.

The United States and Israel have consistently refused to rule out the possibility of military strikes against Iran over its refusal to halt its nuclear program, accusing Tehran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program.

Iran has denied the charges and insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

Source: Xinhua

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