United States sanctions Iranian companies after satellite launch

Violet Powell
July 29, 2017

"Rhetoric and actions from the USA show bad faith", Zarif said.

The Simorgh rocket is capable of carrying a satellite weighing 550 pounds, Iran state television said.

"Space launch vehicles use technologies that are closely related to those of an intercontinental ballistic missile and this launch represents a threatening step by Iran", the Treasury Department said in a statement Friday.

The top Iranian diplomat emphasized that Iran has never been and would not be developing nuclear weapons, saying, "So, by definition can not develop anything created to be capable of delivering them".

The US has said that launch flouted a UN Security Council resolution because the technology is inherently created to be able to carry a nuclear payload.

The move implies that if Iran forbids any inspection, Trump will get the opportunity to prove that Tehran is violating the 2015 deal, thereby making Iran the side responsible for the collapse of the agreement.

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Iran has repeatedly announced that its missile launches are not against the Security Council Resolution 2231 that endorsed the JCPOA.

United Nations resolution 2231 says Iran is "called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles created to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology", according to the text of the agreement which went into effect days after the landmark Iran nuclear agreement that was engineered by the Obama administration.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi also on Friday condemned the US State Department's "meddlesome" remarks as an example of Washington's opposition to the scientific and technological progress of independent countries.

YouTube: A Simorgh rocket was launched from the Imam Khomeini National Space Center, Iran, on 27 July 2017.

Mr Trump's administration has also been pushing for inspections of sensitive Iranian military sites where U.S. intelligence agencies believe Iran may be conducting illicit activity prohibited by the nuclear pact. "We consider that to be continued ballistic missile development", she added.

He said United States officials' claims about Iran's breach of the nuclear deal were in keeping with the White House's "baseless and illogical" efforts to justify its spiteful policies and measures against Tehran. The US had intelligence that the launch was coming and it was not a surprise, according to the official.

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