News ID: 258286
Published: 0141 GMT September 04, 2019

Iran dismisses US space sanctions as ‘ineffective’

Iran dismisses US space sanctions as ‘ineffective’

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday downplayed as “ineffective” the US recent sanctions on the Iran’s space program, saying Washington’s extreme use of economic leverage will gradually threaten its economic might.

Asked about the new US bans against Iran’s civilian space agency and two of research organizations, Zarif said the Americans “have become addicted to sanctions” and target one government or another on a daily basis.

Such sanctions, he added, “have no effect, and the world will gradually begin to mock the United States, too.”

Washington’s “use of sanctions as economic leverage has become so extreme that it will gradually pose a threat to the US economic power,” Zarif said after a meeting with Bangladeshi Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen in Dhaka.

On Tuesday, the US Treasury slapped sanctions on the Iranian Space Agency, Iranian Space Research Center and the Astronautics Research Institute.

"The United States will not allow Iran to use its space launch program as cover to advance its ballistic missile programs," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

With the latest sanctions, the US can subject foreign companies and governments, including international space cooperation organizations, to penalties if they have any involvement with the Iranian Space Agency. They would also freeze any of the agency's assets in US jurisdictions, though there aren't likely to be any given the state of relations between the two nations.

Iran insists it is developing rockets to launch satellites into space, which it has done twice since 2013. 

In a tweet early Wednesday, Iranian Information and Communications Technology Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi appeared to dismiss the latest sanctions. He posted a picture of stars in space, writing: "I can't even locate the US in this picture, let alone sanctions on Space!"

"The universe & #BrightFuture belong to everyone, not to a few! Stop imitating #Thanos, Donald Trump!" Jahromi wrote, referring to the purple-skinned villain of the latest "Avenger" films.

US President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted a picture purportedly pointing to damage at a satellite launch pad in Iran and said the United States had nothing to do with it.

Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei on Monday confirmed an explosion at a satellite launch pad in the north of the country.

He said the explosion was "a technical matter and a technical error."


Iran is expected to launch three satellites into orbit by the end of the year despite US warnings against the country's aerospace program.

The satellites include Nahid 1 (Venus 1), which has Iran's first foldable solar panels, as well as Zafar (Victory) and Pars 1 sensing satellites.

Iran launched its first locally-built satellite, Omid (Hope), in 2009. The country also sent its first bio-capsule containing living creatures into space in February 2010, using Kavoshgar 3 (Explorer 3) carrier.

In February 2015, Iran placed its domestically-made Fajr (Dawn) satellite into orbit, which is capable of taking and transmitting high-quality photos to stations on Earth.

In January 2019, the domestically-built Payam (Message) satellite was launched into space with the aim of collecting environmental information; however, technical problems that occurred during the final stage of the launch prevented the spacecraft from reaching orbit.

Press TV, Reuters and AP contributed to this story.








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