0440 GMT March 26, 2019
Iran will put two satellites into orbit in coming weeks using domestically made missiles, President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday.
"In the coming weeks, we will put two satellites into space using our Iranian-made missiles," Rouhani said without giving further details about the satellites.
The comment came a week after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Iran against pursuing launches that he said would violate a UN Security Council resolution because they use ballistic missile technology.
Iran, which considers its space program a matter of national pride, has said its space vehicle launches and missile tests were not violations and would continue.
“Missiles are our defensive tool and we are proud of it,” Rouhani said.
Under the UN Security Council resolution that enshrined Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers – which the US pulled out of last spring – the country is "called upon" to refrain from work for up to eight years on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons.
Iran says its missiles have not been designed to carry nuclear bombs.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed Pompeo’s claim, saying Washington has already violated that resolution and thus cannot “lecture” Tehran on it.
Tehran and Washington have been at loggerheads since the US pullout in May, followed by President Donald Trump reimposing sanctions that were lifted under the multinational agreement in 2016.
Last week, Iran said country's three new satellites have successfully passed prelaunch tests.
“A satellite with the resolution of 1,000 meters was due to be manufactured through international cooperation 10 years ago, but they (international partners) didn’t cooperate with Iran,” Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi tweeted.
Previously, Iran has sent several short-lived satellites into orbit over the past decade, and in 2013 launched a monkey into space.
Iran typically displays achievements in its space program in February, during the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Iran launched its first domestically-built satellite, the Omid (Hope) research and telecoms satellite, in 2009 on the 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. This year will mark the 40th anniversary of the revolution, which saw the monarchy of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi replaced by the Islamic Republic.
Reuters, AP and Press TV contributed to this story.