Iran’s latest attempt to launch a scientific satellite has apparently unnerved Washington, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lashing out at Tehran and vowing that the US would not let it continue the launches.
Washington used the occasion to once again slam Iran and the 2015 deal on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, from which the US itself unilaterally withdrew back in 2018.
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Since then, America has been hell-bent on stopping the Iranian missile program, seemingly at any cost, introducing several tranches of heavy restrictions on Tehran and threatening other nations – including some of America’s allies – with secondary sanctions if they don’t toe the US line on dealing with Iran.
Now, the US has decided that a failed satellite launch by Iran is a good enough reason to remind the world that Washington will stop at nothing to achieve its Iran policy goals. The fact that the launch was peaceful and did not even fulfill its stated objective hasn’t been a deterrent.
The Iranian regime uses satellite launches to further advance its ballistic missile capabilities that allow it to threaten its adversaries and threaten regional stability. The world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism should not be allowed to develop and test ballistic missiles.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) February 11, 2020
“Each launch, whether failed or not, further allows Iran to gain experience using such technologies that could benefit its missile programs under the guise of a peaceful space program,” Pompeo warned in his statement on the incident, adding that “the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism should not be allowed to develop and test ballistic missiles.”
He then said that the US “will continue to impose enormous pressure on the regime to change its behavior.”
On Sunday, Iran launched a scientific satellite which was supposed to collect imagery of Earth to help, in particular, with studies of earthquakes. However, it failed to reach orbit despite what was initially a successful launch.
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Earlier the same day, Tehran also unveiled a new ballistic missile featuring a composite-built engine that is supposed to increase its operational range to potentially cover 500km. Last week, the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also mocked the US sanctions campaign against his nation by saying that it actually allowed Iran to develop its domestic industries – including the military one – without relying on imports. Iran has turned American pressure into “opportunities,” he said.
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