Tehran Says it Will Soon Send New Satellites into Orbit
In a new challenge to US warnings against violating United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday his country is set to send two new satellites into orbit using domestic missiles.
Speaking on the second anniversary of ex-president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani’s death, Rouhani said: “In the coming weeks, we will send two satellites into space using our domestically-made rockets.”
Resolution 2231, adopted in July 2015 to endorse the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, bans any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
Rouhani said: “Full lifting of the arms embargo is one of the greatest achievements of JCPOA.”
He said the Resolution would lift sanctions against buying weapons in less than two years.
Iran has sent several short-lived satellites into orbit over the past decade, and in 2013 launched a monkey into space.
The US says Iran's plans for sending satellites into orbit demonstrate its defiance of Resolution 2231.
The Iranian President’s comments come days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Tehran against pursuing launches that he said would violate the resolution because they use ballistic missile technology.
Last week, Iran said it is on the verge of launching its three new satellites after successful pre-launch tests.
In July 2017, Iran tested its Simorgh rocket, which it said could deliver a satellite into space.
The United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France in a joint statement condemned the launch, saying it contravened the UN resolution.
Rouhani’s announcement on Thursday is considered a test of expected European measures to activate financial mechanisms capable of coping with the sanctions imposed by Washington on Tehran last August and November, after US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 Nuclear Deal.