EghtesadOnline: Iran’s top diplomat said measures adopted by the Unites States against Iranian space organizations will have no impact on their activities.
“These American sanctions will have no effect,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was in Bangladesh to meet the South Asian country’s officials, told reporters on Wednesday, IRNA reported.
“The US has become addicted to sanctions and their extreme employment of sanctions is gradually threatening the US economy,” Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
The United States imposed sanctions on Iran’s civilian space agency and two research organizations on Tuesday, claiming they were being used to advance Tehran’s ballistic missile program, Reuters reported.
The US Treasury sanctions targeted the Iran Space Agency, Iran Space Research Center and Astronautics Research Institute, according to a statement on its website.
“The United States will not allow Iran to use its space launch program as cover to advance its ballistic missile programs,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo contended in a statement.
He said Iran’s recent attempt to test a space launch vehicle underscored “the urgency of the threat”.
Iran acknowledged on Monday that a rocket at its Imam Khomeini Space Center exploded, with an official saying a technical malfunction during a test caused the explosion.
The sanctions, part of a years-long US pressure campaign, are the first imposed on Iran’s space agencies, according to the US State Department.
The United States claims that long-range ballistic technology used to put satellites into orbit could also be used to launch nuclear warheads, an objective that Tehran says will never pursue.
Iran Space Agency develops satellites and launch vehicle technology, and works with Iran Space Research Center on day-to-day tasks as well as research and development.
The two have also worked with a sanctioned liquid propellant ballistic missile organization, Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, the US State Department claimed.
The Astronautics Research Institute has managed the space vehicle launch project, according to the department.
Tehran denies its space activity is a cover for developing weapon launches.