Iranian Space Launch Condemned as Akin to Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

Could Iran’s latest missile launch help them hit the West with nuclear weapons? Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

The recent Iranian launch of a space launch vehicle missile last Thursday received condemnation from the United States, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom—which is especially understandable given that the missile research is ultimately a threat to their nations. A statement from the four nations—which compromise two-thirds of the powerful P5+1 group of nations that reached a nuclear deal with Iran in 2015—linked the space missile launch to efforts to develop missiles that can travel across continents and potentially carry nuclear warheads.

The statement, published by the U.S. State Department, pointed to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231as calling upon Iran to “not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such technology like this launch. Space launch vehicles use technologies that are closely related to those of ballistic missiles development, in particular to those of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles.”

The ominous linkage of the latest test to weapons of mass destruction was paralleled with a warning from the U.S. about Iran’s behavior.

“The issue with Iran always comes back to mistrust,” said U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley in a statement from her office the day after the launch. “Iran’s widespread support for terrorists tells us we can’t trust them. Iran’s breaking its obligation on missile testing tells us we can’t trust them. Yesterday’s launch proves that yet again.”

The latest missile launch from Iran last week is the third troublesome launch in six weeks. On June 18, Iran launched missiles into Syria to strike terrorists and they tested a medium range ballistic missile on July 4.

The U.S. isn’t sitting back and watching. The American Senate included Iran in a new round of sanctions that included Russia and North Korea. A statement last week from Senator Bob Corker, the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and posted to the Committee website, applauded the “near unanimous” support in the U.S. Congress for the legislation. It will next go to U.S. President Donald Trump to be signed into law.

This was in line with comments from Haley last week. “Under this administration, the United States will not let Iran off the hook for behavior that threatens our interests and our allies,” said Haley.

“We will not simply trust Iran’s word that they are in compliance with international obligations. We will continue to impose consequences until Iran stops its provocations and complies fully with Security Council resolutions.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, July 30, 2017)


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