Iran scientific savvy 'amazes world'

Iran's space breakthrough shows that the country can make scientific progress without any help from the West, says a French strategist.

Bruno Tertrais, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Strategic Research (FSR), said Friday that Iran's launch of a domestically-built satellite shows that the country has pushed back the boundaries of space research and technology.

"Iran has repeatedly shown that it is powerful, self-sufficient and has absolutely no need for Western help and backing," said Tertrais, maintaining that Iran "amazes" the world every six months with its scientific prowess.

The strategist added that Iran's independence in its aerospace industry has become "an object of national pride", L'Express reported.

Tehran placed a domestically-built satellite into orbit on Tuesday -- becoming the ninth country in the world capable of both producing a satellite and sending it into space from a domestically-made launcher.

The Omid data-processing satellite is designed to circle the Earth 15 times every 24 hours and to transmit data via two frequency bands and eight antennas to an Iranian space station.

Tertrais said Washington is likely to use Iran's satellite launch as a pretext to justify the deployment of a US missile system in Eastern Europe.

The Bush administration strived to portray Iran's uranium enrichment, missile program and space technology as a threat to world stability in order to install a ballistic missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Russia has remained strongly opposed to the plan, threatening to respond by installing short-rage Iskander-M missiles in Kaliningrad, a small strategic exclave near Poland.

"No sensible person believes in fairy tales about the Iranian missile threat, and that thousands of kilometers from Tehran on the coast of the Baltic Sea, it is necessary to station a missile interceptor system," Russia's NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin said on Nov. 6.