US Treasury sanctions Iranian companies after 'provocative' satellite launch

US Treasury sanctions Iranian companies after 'provocative' satellite launch

US Treasury sanctions Iranian companies after 'provocative' satellite launch

Iran announced Thursday that it had "successfully" tested a satellite-launch rocket, days after warning Washington of a response to new United States sanctions over the Islamic republic's ballistic missiles program.

Iranian state television showed footage of the firing of the rocket, mounted on a launchpad carrying pictures of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic, and Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The U.S. has said the launch flouted a United Nations Security Council resolution because the technology is inherently created to be able to carry a nuclear payload.

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Following reports of the satellite launch, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said Washington would consider it to violate the 2010 UN Security Council resolution against Iran's ballistics program and the "spirit" of the 2015 Joint Plan of Comprehensive Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal. It stops short of explicitly barring such activity. "We consider that to be continued ballistic missile development". "We believe that what happened overnight, in the early morning hours here in Washington, is inconsistent with the Security Council resolutions".

He also rejected the notion that Iran was working to develop missiles that could carry a nuclear warhead.

YouTube: A Simorgh rocket was launched from the Imam Khomeini National Space Center, Iran, on 27 July 2017.

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The launch was the first from the newly dedicated Imam Khomeini Space Center.

Officials have always been concerned the technology used to put a satellite into space could also be repurposed to make a long-range ballistic missile capable of one day potentially hitting the U.S. The Simorgh rocket is based on a North Korean design.

The sanctions come as the Trump administration continues debating its Iran policy and whether to scrap the 2015 nuclear deal. "They don't comply", he told the Journal.

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In a press release, the Treasury Department said the sanctions were in response to Iran's claimed launch of a Simorgh satellite on Thursday.

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