Iran's former diplomat and negotiator in the nuclear deal said that the new success on satellite launch strengthens Iran’s standing in the Middle East, proving that self-sufficiency and resistance is the best way forward.

Iran Press/America: "Iran is the only country in the Middle East that is self-sufficient in conventional arms. The Iranian defense industry has built all range of weapons from jet fighters, missiles, tanks, to submarines. The new success on satellite launch strengthens Iran’s standing in the Middle East, proving self-sufficiency and resistance is the best way forward," Seyyed Hossein Mousavian in an interview with Space Watch Global.

'Noor', as the first military satellite of the Islamic Republic of Iran, launched on April 22 and placed it into the orbit at an altitude of 425 km.

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Asked why the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has created its own Space Command, Iran's former diplomat said the IRGC has had its own space program and command for many years.

He further stressed that the Iranian government fully supports the advancement of the country on conventional arms to defend the existence and integrity of the country, saying: "On this matter, IRGC plays a key role."

Answering the question on why Iran carried out the launch, Mousavian said: "Iran has been sanctioned since the 1979 revolution. The world powers, specifically the US and EU, have exported hundreds of billions of the most sophisticated conventional weapons to the Middle Eastern countries. Saudi Arabia and other Arab neighboring countries of Iran have been provided with these weapons."

"Saddam invaded Iran right after the revolution and the Arab neighbors provided money, and the world powers provided a full range of weapons for him to disintegrate Iran. During the war, Iran was attacked by thousands of missiles. Saddam used chemical weapons and killed and injured 100,000 Iranians while the US and Europe provided material and technology of chemical weapons for Saddam. Since then, the US strategy has been regime change in Iran with all options on the table," he added.

"With this reality and history, Iran was forced to strive for self-sufficiency in its economy, industry, and conventional arms, cyber, and space technology. This has been Iran’s strategy in response to the invasion, regime change, and possible US-Israeli military strike. During the post-revolution era, sanctions have never been successful in stopping Iran, but have rather made Iran more serious to resist and become more self-sufficient," said Iran's former diplomat and negotiator in the nuclear deal.

Referring to the implications of the satellite launch for Iranian-US relations as well as the JCPOA, he said: "The nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was the first serious route of diplomacy between Iran and the world powers, specifically the US. The deal was agreed upon in 2015 between Iran and the world powers; US, Russia, China, France, Germany, and the UK."

Mousavian called the JCPOA the most comprehensive agreement during the history of non-proliferation, saying: "The IAEA confirmed that Iran implemented the JCPOA completely and comprehensively with zero failure for 3 years. With the JCPOA, Iran implemented the highest level of transparency measures and provided most access, which no other member of NPT has ever provided."

"But the US withdrew from the deal, violated UN resolution 2231 as well as many IAEA resolutions, and imposed sanctions. Practically Iran showed goodwill by complying with the deal and showing the highest level of transparency and cooperation on the nuclear issue but was rewarded with the most comprehensive sanctions in contemporary history," he added.

"Unfortunately, the EU fully capitulated to the US unilateral sanctions. This reality convinced Iran that the West is not trustworthy, and to count on the East for support," Seyyed Hossein Mousavian concluded.

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