Iran’s military satellite launch ‘of significant concern’, says UK

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said Wednesday it put the Islamic Republic’s first military satellite into orbit. (AP pic)

LONDON: Britain on Friday said it was concerned about Iran launching a military satellite, calling on the Islamic republic to uphold a UN ban.

“Reports that Iran has carried out a satellite launch using ballistic missile technology are of significant concern and inconsistent with UN Security Council Resolution 2231,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.

“The UN has called upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Iran must abide by this,” it added.

France condemned the Iranian launch in similar terms on Thursday.

Iran announced on Wednesday it had launched the country’s first military satellite, claiming it made it an emerging “world power”.

But the United States and Iran’s regional rival Israel believe the space programme is a cover for Tehran to develop ballistic missiles.

Iran maintains it has no intention of acquiring nuclear weapons, that its activities are peaceful and comply with the UN Security Council resolution.

Britain said it had “significant and longstanding concerns” about Iran’s ballistic missile programme, adding it posed a threat to regional security.