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(CNSNews.com) – As France proposes offering Iran a multi-billion dollar credit arrangement for it to return to compliance with the nuclear deal, the Trump administration on Tuesday applied fresh pressure on the regime, targeting for sanctions a space program which it views as a cover for ballistic missile development.
The technology used to put a satellite into orbit replicates that used to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
United - States - Iran - Space - Launch
“The United States will not allow Iran to use its space launch program as cover to advance its ballistic missile programs,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, announcing the decision to sanction Iran’s civilian space agency for the first time.
He pointed to an incident last week in which a rocket exploded on the launchpad at the Imam Khomeini Space Center – an accident during a test, according to the regime.
Iran - August - Attempt - Space - Launch
“Iran’s August 29 attempt to launch a space launch vehicle underscores the urgency of the threat,” Pompeo said. “These designations should serve as a warning to the international scientific community that collaborating with Iran’s space program could contribute to Tehran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon delivery system.”
The designation of the Iran Space Agency and two research institutes (the Iran Space Research Center and the Astronautics Research Institute) took place under executive order 13382, which deals with support for weapons of mass destruction proliferation.
State - Department - Fact - Sheet - Launching
According to a State Department fact sheet, the launching of a space launch vehicle (SLV) or carrier rocket to take a payload into space allows the Iranians to gain experience necessary for developing ICBMs, “including staging, ignition of upper-stage engines, and control of a multiple-stage missile throughout flight.”
U.N. Security Council resolution 2231, the 2015 text that enshrined the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal, called on the Iranian regime not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering...
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