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Iran Lying About Peacefulness Of Space Program, Pompeo Says

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

In a tweet on April 25, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Iran continues to lie that the Revolutionary Guard's space program is peaceful when in reality it is part of the country's nuclear weapons program.

"Deeply troubling that the IRGC, a Foreign Terrorist Organization, launched a military satellite. Their secret space program advances technologies used in nuclear weapons delivery systems," Pompeo tweeted on Saturday, April 25.

On Wednesday Pompeo had called for Iran to be held accountable for the launch and said he believed launching the satellite was in violation of the Security Council Resolution 2231. The 2015 resolution called upon Iran to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons.

IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh said in an interview on Iran's state TV on 24 April that by launching its first military satellite into space on April 22, Iran has become a "superpower". He also praised the measure as a boost for Iran's deterrence power against any enemy.

France, Germany and Britain have also criticized Iran’s launch of a military satellite into space while Russia has defended it.

"Reports that Iran has carried out a satellite launch – using ballistic missile technology – are of significant concern and inconsistent with UN Security Council Resolution 2231," a British Foreign Office spokesman said on Friday and added that Iran must abide by the Resolution's call upon Iran to refrain from undertaking any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons. "Iran must abide by this," he said.

Iran, however, claims that tying the satellite launch to ballistic missile development is only an excuse that the United States uses for bullying Iran.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif on Friday in a tweet said Iran neither has nukes nor missiles 'designed to be capable of carrying' such horrific arms' and accused the European powers of obeying the United States instead of Resolution 2231 of the U.N. Security Council.

"US has been bullying all against UNSC Resolution 2231 since 2017... Neither (Europe or the United States) can lecture Iran based on flimsy misreadings of UNSCR 2231," Zarif said in the tweet.