Washington: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called Iran’s planned space rocket launches as defiance of a UN Security Council resolution, demanding Tehran to cease the related activities.
In a statement issued by the State Department on Thursday, Pompeo warned that Iran’s plans to launch three Space Launch Vehicles in the coming months would demonstrate its defiance of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231.
UNSCR 2231 endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or the 2015 nuclear deal which Iran signed with world powers. The US had pulled out of the multilateral deal in May last year and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.
Pompeo said that the resolution calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, claiming the planned space launches would incorporate technology “virtually identical” to that used in ballistic missiles, Xinhua news agency reported.
“We advise the regime to reconsider these provocative launches and cease all activities related to ballistic missiles in order to avoid deeper economic and diplomatic isolation,” Pompeo said.
But Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected Pompeo’s warning, saying their space launches and missile tests were not in violation of the resolution.
The US was in material breach of the resolution, Zarif said via the Twitter account of Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Iran’s launch of space vehicles — and missile tests — are NOT in violation of Res 2231. The US is in material breach of same and as such it is in no position to lecture anyone on it,” Zarif tweeted.