Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement preemptively warning
Iran against following through on a plan to launch rockets into space,
saying that they are required to cease all nuclear-related activities and that the US will not allow them to put international security at risk.
Pompeo further accused Iran of being in defiant of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 related to missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, saying that Iran must not launch any rockets into space as a result.
Iranian officials dismissed these allegations, saying that no UN resolution prohibits them from sending vehicles into space. This is not the first time this has been a subject of dispute between the US and Iran on the UNSC 2231.
UNSC 2231 forbids Iran from developing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles. The US has long argued that this amounts to a ban on any ballistic missiles, irrespective of cargo, while Iran says that since they are confirmed by the UN’s IAEA to not have any nuclear weapons, it doesn’t really apply to defensive ballistic missiles.
Furthermore, the US has argued that ban can be extrapolated to include pretty much anything missile related, as well as launching rockets into space. Pompeo noted the US considers space-bound rockets virtually identical to ballistic missiles. Clearly, this was never the intention of the UNSC resolution, and Iran never considered it a permanent UN ban on them exploiting space.
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