Iran will launch a satellite on Sunday, an Iranian government minister announced, in what the United States claims is cover for Tehran’s ballistic-missile program.

“The Zafar satellite will be placed in orbit today from Semnan at a speed of 7,400 kilometers,” said Iran’s Information and Communications Technology Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi, according to Reuters.

The United States claims the launch may be cover for ballistic-missile development, as the same technology used to put satellites in orbit can also be used to launch nuclear warheads.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Iranian air-force commanders the country should increase its military power to prevent war, and described U.S. sanctions as a “criminal act,” reported Reuters.

“We should be strong to prevent any war against the county. Being weak will encourage our enemies to attack Iran,” said Khamenei, according to the report.

“Since the revolution their aim was to stop us from having a strong military and a strong air force … but look at us now. We even build planes. We have transformed their pressure to opportunity,” he said.

The Iranian leader also claimed that Iran poses no threat to other countries.

“Iran poses no threat to any other country. … Our only aim is to make sure our security is guaranteed,” said Khamenei, according to the report.

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