US top diplomat warns Iran against space launches

US top diplomat warns Iran against space launches

WASHINGTON (Rahnuma): The U.S. “won’t stand by” as Iran prepares to launch several objects into space, Washington’s top diplomat warned Thursday.

Mike Pompeo said the technology planned to be used is “virtually” the same as that found in intercontinental ballistic missiles, raising concerns about its multiple applications.

“The launch will advance its missile program,” Pompeo said on Twitter. “US, France, UK & Germany have already stated this is in defiance of UNSCR 2231. We won’t stand by while the regime threatens international security.”

Iran is planning to launch three space vehicles in the coming months.

The UN resolution Pompeo is citing called on Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear payloads for eight years after world powers and Iran enacted a landmark nuclear accord. U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of the deal last year.

In a separate lengthy official statement, Pompeo said Iran tested a medium-range ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple warheads Dec. 1.

“The United States has continuously cautioned that ballistic missile and SLV launches by the Iranian regime have a destabilizing effect on the region and beyond,” he said, referring to space launch vehicles.

Pompeo urged Iran to reconsider its planned space launches, warning if it stays the course Tehran will face “deeper economic and diplomatic isolation.”

Iran insists its space program is peaceful, but critics like Pompeo see it as a stand-in for an overt missile program.

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