The Iranian missile programme has been harshly criticised by some Arab countries, as well as by the US. The latter claims that Tehran’s satellite space programme actually serves a purpose in the development of ballistic missiles, despite Iran denying this.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi has commented on recent statements by the informal Arab Ministerial Quartet Committee, made up of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt, saying that the country’s missiles do not threaten regional Arab and Muslim states. Mousavi noted that there can be no discussion regarding Iran’s missile programme. The spokesman further stressed the fact that Iranian missile systems are domestically made, also calling on regional states to not buy weapons from the US. Mousavi argued that such purchases are unable to guarantee their national security.
The official also berated the countries in the region, without going into specifics, for allegedly turning a blind eye to the problems of the Palestinian people and siding with Israel.
“The countries that have shut their eyes to the occupation of the sacred Palestinian territories by the [Israel] and have abjectly sided with the US president and the Zionist regime’s prime minister in declaration of the treacherous Deal of the Century, have no right to question Iran’s honourable support for the resistance in Palestine and Lebanon”, Mousavi said.
Iran’s missile programme has long been a source of concern for regional powers, specifically Saudi Arabia, which claims that Yemen’s Houthi militants are using Iranian missiles to attack the kingdom and accuses Tehran of arming them. Beyond the Middle East, the US has also harshly criticised Iran’s ballistic missile programme, claiming that it is using space satellite launches for the purposes of developing such armaments.
Iran denies the allegations and insists that its space programme is entirely civilian. Tehran tried to launch a satellite designed to gather data on earthquakes and other natural disasters on 9 February, but the missile carrier failed to lift it to the designated orbit.