VOA – The United States is criticizing Iran’s failed attempt Tuesday to launch a satellite into orbit.
Iranian officials say the launch failed when the rocket carrying the satellite did not reach the proper speed to propel it into orbit.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned Iran for what he calls its “defiance of the international community…the launch yet again shows that Iran is pursuing enhanced missile capabilities that threaten Europe and the Middle East.”
Pompeo said the rocket that Iran used to try to put the satellite into orbit “incorporates technologies that are virtually identical and interchangeable with those used in ballistic missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles.”
He said the launch violates a 2015 UN Security Council Resolution urging Iran not to work on ballistic missile technology for eight years.
The resolution is part of the six-nation nuclear agreement with Iran from which the U.S. withdrew last year.
Iran says its space launches and satellite program have no military intent and will continue.
It also says they do not violate the Security Council resolution which it says only recommends but does not bar Iran from such launches.