Department of State: Tehran uses civilian astronautics to develop its military rocket program
The US State Department on Tuesday sanctioned the Iranian Space Agency and its two research institutes. For the first time, the United States announced sanctions against the Iranian civilian space agency, due to the agency’s involvement in the development of ballistic missiles.
The sanctions were imposed in accordance with Order No. 13382 – it concerns individuals and companies involved in the development of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. The technologies for launching space launch vehicles developed by the Iranian Space Agency are almost identical to those for launching ballistic missiles. This program allows Tehran to gain experience with the various technologies needed to develop cruise missiles – including staging, firing upper stage engines, and controlling a multistage missile throughout its flight..
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“Our actions today demonstrate the flaws in the Comprehensive Joint Action Plan, why the US was right to end its participation in it, and the importance of concluding an agreement that will prevent Iran from developing missile programs that can be used for nuclear delivery systems. That is why Secretary of State Pompeo has called for a new comprehensive agreement that will regulate all elements of Iran’s misbehavior, ”the State Department said in a press release..
The Iranian Space Agency was founded in April 2003 to coordinate Tehran’s efforts to develop a civilian space program. The agency reports to the Supreme Space Council. The Iranian Space Research Center and the Astronautics Research Institute were also sanctioned – both of these centers are subordinate to the Iranian Space Agency..
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