Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Pompeo calls Iran space program 'reckless', urges international pressure

U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo urged world powers to confront Iran for its "reckless ballistic missile activity," after its Zafar 1 communications satellite was launched but failed to achieve orbit on February 9.

"The Iranian regime uses satellite launches to develop its ballistic missile capabilities," Pompeo said. "The technologies used to launch satellites into orbit are virtually identical and interchangeable with those used in longer range systems, including intercontinental ballistic missiles. 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.

"Iran’s series of space launches reflects the failure of the Iran deal to constrain testing that could support further advancement of Iran’s ballistic missile program. The Iran deal lifted the prohibition on Iran’s missile testing and development of systems capable of delivering nuclear weapons and we are seeing the dangerous consequences today. The world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism should not be allowed to develop and test ballistic missiles. This common sense standard must be restored by the international community.

"The United States will continue to build support around the world to confront the Iranian regime’s reckless ballistic missile activity, and we will continue to impose enormous pressure on the regime to change its behavior."