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Pompeo Warns Iran Over Space Launches

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that Iran would face “deeper economic and diplomatic isolation” if it went ahead with its planned launches of Space Launched Vehicles (SLV), The Hill reported Thursday.

Pompeo was reacting to a recent release from Iran’s defense ministry stating that it planned to launch 3 SLV in the coming months.

Iran last attempted a space launch in July 2017,  launching a Simorgh rocket. The Simorgh, according to arms control experts, appears to use the same technology as North Korea’s Unha SLV series, which the U.S. intelligence community has concluded “could be used for an ICBM-class vehicle” capable of carrying nuclear weapons to the U.S.

In his statement, Pompeo stated that with launches of such rockets, Iran was in “defiance of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231, which calls upon the Iranian regime not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

He also noted that the U.S. was not alone in its concern about Iran’s ballistic missile development, saying, “France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and many nations from around the world have also expressed deep concern.”

Following the launch of the Simorgh, France, Germany, and the U.K. wrote a letter to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres calling the launch “threatening and provocative.”

At a Security Council meeting in December, Pompeo noted that the council has met for 12 consecutive years to discuss the ballistic missile threat from Iran.

At the same meeting, Pompeo demanded a tougher response from the body about Iran’s ballistic missile program. He also called for extending terms in 2231 that would allow Iran to resume exporting arms in 2020. The Secretary of State observed Iran is in “noncompliance with multiple UN Security Council resolutions, including those related to al-Qaida, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Yemen, and Somalia.”

“The Council must address these malign activities,” Pompeo said. “It cannot reward Iran by lifting the arms embargo.”

[Photo: Tasnim News ]