The French foreign ministry said on Friday that Paris was upset about Iran’s recent space launch, all the more so because it came at a time when nuclear talks with Tehran were showing signs of progress. “France condemns this launch, which is not in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2231,” a ministerial spokesperson said, referring to the UN call on Iran to stop working on the nuclear-capable ballistic missile technology.
Iran said on Thursday that a satellite launch rocket had successfully put three research devices in orbit, prompting criticism from Germany and the United States.
France sees the Iranian ballistic missile and space programs as overlapping due to the “closeness of technologies” used in space launches and missile tests, the ministry said. The Iranian Defence Ministry’s involvement in the space launch further proves their “close link”.
“These activities are all the more regrettable because they happened at a time when we are seeing progress in the nuclear negotiations in Vienna,” the spokesperson added.
The latest round of talks between Iran and world powers began in Vienna on Monday in a bid to salvage the 2015 deal after the US pulled out in 2018. Iranian chief negotiator Ali Bagheri said they were making satisfactory progress.