Iranian President Declares Country a Space and Nuclear Power
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March 13, 2009
TEHRAN, March 13 (RIA Novosti) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Friday that pressure from Western powers trying to keep Iran in economic isolation had in fact spurred the country to become a space and nuclear power.
"Had you not been bad-tempered and blocked the way, the Iranian nation would not have been present in space, and would not have become a nuclear power," Fars news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying at the inauguration ceremony of a natural gas deposit in the Bushehr province.
Iran put its first communications satellite, Omid (Hope), into a near-Earth orbit on February 2. The research satellite was carried into orbit by a home-made launch vehicle, Safir (Messenger). Iranian Communications Minister Mohammad Soleimani earlier said that the country's scientists were working on the creation of four new satellites to be placed into near-Earth orbit.
The Iranian president said Western powers are unable to stop Iran's technological and scientific progress with their "spiteful actions." He also called the international economic sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program a "grave blunder."
"Of course, we believe that the Iranian nation can tread the path to progress under God's mercy," he said.
Western powers led by the United States, along with Israel, have accused Tehran of attempting to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology for their delivery. Iran says it needs its nuclear program for electric power generation, and its missile program for space exploration.