Iran tech expo sends defiant message to West

Feb 03, 2011 By BRIAN MURPHY , Associated Press

(AP) -- An Iranian supercomputer. New space rockets and satellites carrying the flag of the Islamic Republic. Biotech innovations that include artificial tendons.

Iran's claims of are coming at a rapid-fire pace these days as the country begins events to mark the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

It's become part of annual celebrations of scholarship and military might. But this year, there is an added message to the West after the latest talks over Iran's fizzled in January: Tehran's ability to make atomic fuel remains at the heart of the country's drive for home-grown technology.

"The government's support for science and technology is an unchangeable strategy," said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last month at a high-tech trade exhibition in Tehran. "This includes the nuclear efforts."

It's hardly a new statement from the Islamic Republic, which has repeatedly insisted it will not negotiate over its right for uranium enrichment under international pacts. This message, however, be reinforced strongly in the coming days as officials boast about Iran's innovations.

It also offers an important lesson in how much political capital is vested in Iran's effort to stake its claim as the scientific vanguard of the Muslim world.

plans a major tech exhibition beginning Saturday in Damascus, Syria, whose underlying purpose seeks show that international sanctions have not crippled Iran's labs.

The expo is expected to showcase an array of made-in-Iran innovations from more than 120 companies including precision industrial equipment, and aerospace-related items. No nuclear technology is on the list.

An Iranian diplomat in Syria told The Associated Press that the five-day exhibition - the first of its kind outside Iran - aims to show "friend and foe" that sanctions have not slowed Iran despite claims by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others. The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to brief reporters.

Ali Reza Khamesian, a journalist for the moderate newspaper Melleat-e Ma newspaper in Tehran, said the technology show seeks to project Iran as the "most powerful and independent country in the region."

"It has a clear goal," he said. "That is to show the regional countries that Iran is unique since it has achieved technological achievements" despite sanctions.

During the coming week, Iranian officials have promised to display a new range of rockets and satellites - which could raise more concern in the West that Iran's space program spilling over into possible efforts at creating a long-range ballistic missile arsenal.

A year ago, Iran announced it launched some animals - including a mouse, two turtles and worms - briefly into space on a research rocket. In February 2009, Iran sent its first satellite into orbit.

Meanwhile, Iranian officials have unveiled an array of purported advances in recent weeks, including a new gamma radiation units for medical treatments and a supercomputer billed as among the top 500 most powerful in the world.

Iran's deputy president for science and technology, Salar Amuli, told state television that computer's power will be used for areas that include nuclear physics.

On Kish Island in the Gulf, a biotech center is planned to make artificial tendons and ligaments , state-run Press TV reported.

Besides the jabs against sanctions, Ahmadinejad also plays heavily on the connection between technology and Persian pride. He frequently sprinkles his remarks about how Iran should reclaim the banner of scientific advancement it once held as the Persian Empire.

'History has shown that the Iranian nation was pioneer of achieving scientific progress,' he said last week.

Explore further: Alibaba steals Yahoo's thunder ahead of IPO

5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Iran sends rocket with animal menagerie into space

Feb 03, 2010

(AP) -- Iran announced Wednesday it has successfully launched a 10-foot-long research rocket carrying a mouse, two turtles and worms into space - a feat President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said showed Iran could ...

Iran to unveil new home-built satellite: report

Dec 24, 2009

Iran will unveil a new home-built satellite in February, a newspaper reported Thursday, amid Western concerns that Tehran is using its nuclear and space industries to develop atomic and ballistic weapons.

Iran aims to send man into space in nine years

Jul 23, 2010

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Friday that Iran plans to send a man into space by 2019 as a blow to Western powers pressing Tehran over its nuclear programme, state news agency IRNA reported.

Recommended for you

New US-Spanish firm says targets rich mobile ad market

5 hours ago

Spanish telecoms firm Telefonica and US investment giant Blackstone launched a mobile telephone advertising venture on Wednesday, challenging internet giants such as Google and Facebook in a multi-billion-dollar ...

Technip, Heerema win third giant Angolan oil contract

8 hours ago

The ultra-deep Angolan offshore oil project called Kaombo generated the third huge contract in three days on Wednesday when French group Total picked two firms to carry out underwater engineering worth $3.5 billion.

Yahoo sees signs of growth in 'core' (Update)

23 hours ago

Yahoo reported a stronger-than-expected first-quarter profit Tuesday, results hailed by chief executive Marissa Mayer as showing growth in the Web giant's "core" business.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

(Phys.org) —Quantenna Communications has announced that it has plans for releasing a chipset that will be capable of delivering 10Gbps WiFi to/from routers, bridges and computers by sometime next year. ...

Floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects—specifically, ...

Unlocking secrets of new solar material

(Phys.org) —A new solar material that has the same crystal structure as a mineral first found in the Ural Mountains in 1839 is shooting up the efficiency charts faster than almost anything researchers have ...

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

How kids' brain structures grow as memory develops

Our ability to store memories improves during childhood, associated with structural changes in the hippocampus and its connections with prefrontal and parietal cortices. New research from UC Davis is exploring ...

Gate for bacterial toxins found

Prof. Dr. Dr. Klaus Aktories and Dr. Panagiotis Papatheodorou from the Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University of Freiburg have discovered the receptor responsible ...