US: Iran Satellite Launch Violates UN Resolution

Resolution Doesn't Specifically Forbid Such Launches

Continuing their efforts to find excuses for more Iran sanctions, US officials today followed up Iran’s launch of a satellite into orbit with a claim that the launch amounted to a violation of UN Security Council resolution 2231.

This is the notorious nuclear-capable missiles resolution, which the US has used to argue effectively even Iranian test of a conventional missile was a violation. Most everyone outside the US agrees the resolution itself has no meaning since the P5+1 deal precludes Iran developing a nuclear warhead anyhow.

Iranian officials were even more dismissive of today’s claim, saying that not only do they have no nuclear warheads, but the launch of satellites from a space center is obviously nothing to do with the UN resolution.

They’re right, in any sane interpretation of the UN resolution, which doesn’t make any mention of satellite launches being forbidden at all. Indeed, the US perspective seems to boil down to the idea that any technological advance in moving things through rocketry conceivably could be transposed to a nuclear-capable missile, and that subsequently, even though that missile doesn’t exist, every sort of rocketry development is forbidden.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of