Pompeo’s Bluster on Space Launches, Missiles Brushed Off

Pompeo’s Bluster on Space Launches, Missiles Brushed Off Pompeo’s Bluster on Space Launches, Missiles Brushed Off

Iran’s top diplomat rejected a warning by the United States against conducting space vehicle launches and missile tests, saying such activities do not go against a United Nations Security Council resolution that enshrines the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and world powers.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a warning to Iran on Thursday against pursuing three planned space rocket launches that he claimed would violate the UN resolution because they use ballistic missile technology.
“Iran’s launch of space vehicles--& missile tests--are NOT in violation of [Resolution] 2231. The US is in material breach of same, & as such it is in no position to lecture anyone on it,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter later in the day.
Pompeo said Iran had announced plans to launch in the coming months three rockets, called Space Launch Vehicles, which he asserted incorporate technology that is “virtually identical” to that used in intercontinental ballistic missiles.


Zarif says the US, which is in breach of the UN resolution that endorses the nuclear deal, is in no position to cite the same resolution to level accusations at Tehran over its space and missile programs   


“The United States will not stand by and watch the Iranian [government’s allegedly] destructive policies [that] place international stability and security at risk,” Pompeo contended in a statement, Reuters reported.
“We advise [Tehran] to reconsider these provocative launches and cease all activities related to ballistic missiles in order to avoid deeper economic and diplomatic isolation.”



Planned Satellite Launches 

Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Qasem Taqizadeh in late November was quoted as saying by the domestic media that Iran was planning to launch three satellites into space soon.
“The satellites have been made by domestic experts and will be put into various orbits,” Taqizadeh said.
Pompeo alleged that such rocket launches would violate Resolution 2231, which calls upon Iran not to undertake activities related to ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons, including launches using such technology. It stops short of explicitly barring such activity.
Tehran insists its missiles are not designed to deliver nuclear payloads and that its missile development activity is exclusively meant to build up the country’s conventional deterrence strength.   
US President Donald Trump decided in May to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and reimpose harsh sanctions on Iran.
Pompeo claimed Iran has launched ballistic missiles numerous times since the UN resolution was adopted, adding that it test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple warheads on Dec. 1.
“The United States has continuously cautioned that ballistic missile and SLV launches by the Iranian [government] have a destabilizing effect on the region and beyond,” Pompeo said. 
“France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and many nations from around the world have also expressed deep concern.”
In July 2017, Iran launched a rocket it said could deliver a satellite into space, an act the US State Department called provocative. Earlier that month, the United States slapped new economic sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program.
Iran says its space program is peaceful, but western states suspect it may be a cover for developing military missile technologies.

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