Iran has sent a satellite into orbit and a message to the world to mark 33 years since its Islamic Revolution.
Officially, the satellite will provide data on the weather. The West fears Iran’s space and nuclear programmes have military aims.
In Tehran, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke in Arabic, apparently to address the wider region.
“Don’t trust the US or NATO because they don’t care about your interests or your countries,” he said.
And he warned that Iran would retaliate over Western-backed oil-sanctions and any threat of attack.
According to US media reports, American Defence Secretary Leon Panetta believes there is a growing possibility that Israel will attack Iran as early as April to stop Tehran from building a nuclear bomb.
Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon believes that all Iranian nuclear installations are vulnerable to possible military strikes, even those underground. He also warned that Iran is trying to develop missiles able to reach the United States.
Israel has said it will use force if necessary to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Iran insists it is enriching uranium to generate electricity and for other peaceful purposes.