AFP - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday accused Iran of posing a missile threat after Tehran defied his warnings and tried to put a satellite into orbit, albeit unsuccessfully.
Pompeo renewed his charge that the launch defied UN Security Council resolution 2231 of 2015, which endorsed an international agreement, from which the United States has withdrawn, on ending Iran's nuclear weapons.
"In defiance of the international community & UNSCR 2231, Iran's regime fired off a space launch vehicle today," Pompeo tweeted."The launch yet again shows that Iran is pursuing enhanced missile capabilities that threaten Europe and the Middle East," he wrote.
The reaction was relatively muted for a member of President Donald Trump's administration, which has ramped up pressure for months on Iran in hopes of crippling its economy and scaling back its influence in the region.
Iran's telecommunications minister said the country successfully launched the Payam satellite but that it failed to be placed into orbit.
The United States and Israel say Iran can use technical know-how from satellite launches to develop long-range missiles, an opinion not shared by all Western experts.Iran says it has the right to satellite launches as well as missile tests, saying it needs to defend itself against real threats and that the activities do not involve a nuclear component.