- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday criticized Iran’s recent failed satellite launch, calling the attempt “reckless.”

On Sunday, Iranian defense ministry officials confirmed the failed launch and said the rocket used to launch the Zafar 1 communications satellite fell short of reaching the necessary speed to put the device into orbit.

The U.S. has warned the satellite launch — that Iran claims was intended to gather geographic imagery and data — was part of a larger effort to further a nuclear program and has expressed concerns that the long-range ballistic missile technology used to launch the satellites could be linked to nuclear development.

Mr. Pompeo reiterated the U.S.’ belief in a statement and said “the technologies used to launch satellites into orbit are virtually identical and interchangeable with those used in the longer-range systems, including intercontinental ballistic missiles.”

While Iran has maintained claims that it has not explored nuclear weapons development, Mr. Pompeo cautioned that “each launch, whether failed or not, further allows Iran to gain experience using such technologies that could benefit its missile programs under the guise of a peaceful space program.”

“The world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism should not be allowed to develop and test ballistic missiles,” the secretary continued. “This common-sense standard must be restored by the international community.”

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