Mehdi Bakhtiari, who is the editor of the IRGC-affiliated Tasnim News Agency's political and military desk, said in a November 13, 2022 show on Channel 1 (Iran) that the claims that Iran's space program is just a cover for its military activities are "laughable." He said that Iran's military technologies are much more advanced than its space program, and he explained that when Iran built its first satellite launcher, it simultaneously attained the ability to build intercontinental ballistic missiles. He said that Iran's missiles are limited to a range of 2,000 kilometers because this is what its military doctrine dictates, but that as soon as it chooses, Iran can build an ICBM with a range of 8,000 kilometers capable of carrying a warhead weighing several hundred kilograms. In addition, he said that in a few years, Iran will complete building the Ghaem-120 satellite launcher, which will be able to launch satellites to an altitude of 36,000 kilometers.
Mehdi Bakhtiari: "There is a claim that Iran is using its space [program] as a cover for its [activity] in the military field. We have heard this many times, and it is laughable. Our military field is far more advanced than our space activity.
"Many people are asking the following question: 'In light of the psychological warfare constantly conducted by the enemy against our space program, which they connect to the military field, can this [satellite launcher] missile turn into an intercontinental missile? Are we or are we not capable at all of building an intercontinental [missile]?'
"I would like to address this in a nutshell. The minute we built the first satellite launcher, we obtained the capability to build an intercontinental [missile]. Nobody forced us, or can force us, to limit ourselves to a range of 2,000 kilometers. This is the [military] doctrine and the goal determined by Iran's senior officials – a range of 2,000 kilometers, for now.
"However, at any moment, when they so desire, they can build an intercontinental missile with a range of, more or less, 8,000 kilometers, with a warhead weighing several hundred kilograms.
"We now have the Ghaem-100 satellite launcher. Inshallah, within several years, we will have the Ghaem-120 launcher. This is the launcher envisioned by the martyr Tehrani-Moghaddam, and inshallah, it will get us to an orbit 36,000 kilometers above ground."