France has taken a stand against Iran's space research and technology, saying the launch of an indigenous satellite is 'concerning'.
The French Foreign Ministry said Tehran's launch of the Omid satellite -- which marks Iranian independence in its space program -- has raised serious concerns.
"We're concerned by the launch of this satellite -- the technology is very similar to ballistic capabilities,” French Foreign Ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier said on Tuesday.
Chevallier raised questions as to whether the data-processing satellite would be used for military purposes.
His remarks came only hours after Iran launched the Omid satellite into space with the goal of promoting "monotheism, peace and justice" on the occasion of the Ten-Day Dawn celebrations, which mark the Islamic Revolution's 30th anniversary.
The recent technological development has prompted Western countries to step up accusations that Iran is developing long-range ballistic missile technology, which could be used to launch nuclear weapons.
Tehran, however, insists the satellite was designed and produced for peaceful purposes and will enable the country to track natural disasters and improve its telecommunications infrastructure.
"Iran's breakthrough in space research and technology is in line with country's requirements. Satellites are a very essential means of gathering information on environmental, technological, climatic, and economic issues,” Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said at the African Union summit on Tuesday.
Mottaki stated that Western criticism is mainly meant to deprive countries of scientific achievements.
The Iranian foreign minister added that there is no reason for Western concern because “Iran has proven that aggression has no place in its doctrine over the past 100 years.”
Omid features highly-advanced remote sensing, satellite telemetry, and geographic information system technology as well as remote and ground station data processing.
The successful launch on Tuesday makes Iran the 9th country to put a domestically-manufactured satellite into orbit since the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957, ushering in the Space Age.