From correspondents in Tehran
IRAN'S defence minister said today the Islamic republic would launch its own satellite into space with an Iranian-made launch system, the official news agency IRNA reported.
"Within 18 months, Iran will launch its own satellite. Iran will be the first Islamic country to enter the stratosphere with its own satellite and its own, indigenous launch system," Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani was quoted as saying.
"The aerospace capacity of the Islamic republic is one of the main means of deterrence for the country, and is acquired through cooperation between the defence industries and universities," he added.
"There was a time when the Persian Gulf was a source of threats against the Islamic republic, but today, with the power we have obtained, this region can no longer be used against us by any non-regional power," IRNA quoted him as saying.