U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Iran on Thursday about activating space-launch vehicles, which officials and experts contend is a cover for the regime’s ballistic-missile program, that the Islamic Republic announced would occur “in the coming months.”
The U.S. top diplomat said that such a launch would violate U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which adopted the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. “It calls upon the Iranian regime not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons,” said Pompeo.
“This action includes launching SLVs, which incorporate technology that is virtually identical to that used in ballistic missiles, including in intercontinental ballistic-missiles (ICBMs),” he continued. “An ICBM with a range of 10,000 kilometers could reach the United States.”
Pompeo added that Iran has launched ballistic missiles since the aforementioned Security Council resolution, most recently last December.
“The United States has continuously cautioned that ballistic missile and SLV launches by the Iranian regime have a destabilizing effect on the region and beyond,” he said. “France, Germany, the United Kingdom and many nations from around the world have also expressed deep concern.”
“The Iranian regime is the world’s foremost state sponsor of terror, and has proliferated missiles and related technology to its proxies around the Middle East, further flouting UNSCR 2231,” continued Pompeo. “The United States will not stand by and watch the Iranian regime’s destructive policies place international stability and security at risk.”
“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,” he added.