USA says satellite attempt shows Iran threat

USA says satellite attempt shows Iran threat

Despite failing to reach enough speed to reach the Earth's orbit, the USA believes the launch could be used to develop stronger missiles that could reach targets hundreds of miles away.

Iran, which considers its space program a matter of national pride, has said its space vehicle launches and missile tests were not violations and would continue.

Rouhani did not name the second satellite but said both were manufactured at Tehran's Amirkabir University of Technology.

Iran's president said on Monday the Islamic republic plans to launch two domestically made satellites into orbit in the "coming days" to gather information on the country's environment, state TV reported.

The US has feared Iran poses a threat to its immediate allies in the region - namely Saudi Arabia and Israel - and is sponsoring militants and terrorists in Syria and Lebanon.

Tehran reined in most of its nuclear program under the deal, since abandoned by Washington previous year, but has continued to develop its ballistic missile and rocket technology.

The preparations for the launch had sparked worldwide fears that the Iranian government was using it as a pretext to carry out ballistic missile testing.

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"We should not come up short or stop", Azari-Jahromi wrote.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on January 3 that the launch of such a satellite "would once again demonstrate Iran's defiance of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231, which calls upon the Iranian regime not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons".

Azari-Jahromi said the satellite, named Payam, failed in the third stage of the launch because it "did not reach adequate speed", according to a report on the ministry's website.

Iran typically displays achievements in its space program in February, during the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

"The United States will not stand by and watch the Iranian regime's destructive policies place global stability and security at risk", he said at the time.

"The Payam is a non-military satellite with a non-military mission but some countries, thinking that it could have a military goal, showed no enthusiasm for launching Iranian satellites", Safavi said. The United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France in a joint statement condemned the launch, saying it contravened UN Security Council Resolution 2231. "Iran will wait for no country's permission to conduct such scientific projects", Ghasemi added.

Previously, Iran has sent several short-lived satellites into orbit over the past decade, and, in 2013, launched a monkey into space.

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