The UK government has condemned Iran’s recent launch of a military satellite into space, amid concerns that Tehran’s space technology could be used to develop nuclear weapons.
The Islamic Republic announced on September 27 it had used the Qased space launch vehicle to put the Noor-3 imaging satellite in an orbit 450 kilometers above the Earth.
In a statement on October 3, the UK Foreign Office said that the Qased carrier “uses technology essential for the development of a long-range ballistic missile system.”
“Iran has taken this action despite repeated calls from the UN Security Council to halt its ballistic-missile programme. Iran’s actions further prove its disregard of international restrictions and highlight the grave threat posed by the regime to global security,” the statement reads.
The three-stage Qased rocket fueled by both liquid and solid fuels was first launched by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in 2020 when it unveiled its up-to-then-secret space program.
The United States and its Western allies say that Iran’s satellite launches defy a UN Security Council resolution. They claim that the same ballistic technology used to put satellites into orbit could also allow Tehran to launch longer-range weapons, possibly including nuclear warheads.
The Islamic Republic denies that such activity is a cover for ballistic missile development and claims that it does not pursue the development of nuclear weapons.
"Alongside partners, the UK remains committed to taking every diplomatic step to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and to hold the regime to account for its malign activity around the world," the UK statement said.