Pompeo: Iran’s space program is ‘dangerous’

Pompeo noted that the military satellite was sent under an ostensibly “civilian” space program.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that Iran’s space program is “dangerous,” He made his remarks in light of a military satellite launch by Tehran last week.

Pompeo noted that the military satellite was sent under an ostensibly “civilian” space program.

“For years, Iran has claimed its space program is purely peaceful and civilian. The Trump Administration has never believed this fiction,” Pompeo said. “Iran’s space program is neither peaceful nor entirely civilian.”

“This satellite launch vehicle and others launched before it incorporate technologies identical to, and interchangeable with, ballistic missiles, including longer-range systems such as intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). No country has ever pursued an ICBM capability except for the purpose of delivering nuclear weapons,” Pompeo said.

On its official website on Wednesday, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Guard said the satellite, named “Noor,” successfully reached an orbit of 425 kilometers (264 miles) above the Earth’s surface. The Guard called it the first military satellite ever launched by Tehran.

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Pompeo demanded the nations take action and “reject Iran’s development of ballistic-missile capable technologies and join together to constrain Iran’s dangerous missile programs.”

The secretary of state called for nations the UN’s conventional arms embargo on Iran, set to expire in October.

“The world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and anti-Semitism should not be allowed to buy and sell conventional weapons. We also call on the European Union to sanction those individuals and entities working on Iran’s missile programs,” Pompeo said.

Suggesting that Europe’s major power should abandon the 2015 nuclear deal, Pompeo said that while Britain, France, and Germany have condemned Iran’s satellite launch, they are still signatories to that agreement, which the U.S. exited in 2018.

The satellite launch, coupled with Iranian harassment of U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf have reinflamed tensions between the two countries.