Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that Iran’s testing of space-launch vehicles is really cover for the further development of nuclear-capable ICBMs.
Speaking in Abu Dhabi in advance of private meetings with Gulf States to discuss Iran’s ongoing support for terrorist groups, Pompeo said U.S. intelligence agencies have determined that Iran’s satellite launches are part of Tehran’s quest to continue advancing its ballistic missile technology.
Iran is preparing to launch several satellites into space in the coming days, U.S. officials believe, which is spurring new concerns that the regime is using them to cover up ICBM development, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Such ICBM testing violates United Nations rules prohibiting such activity, Pompeo told reporters, in describing Tehran’s actions as provocative in nature. The secretary also said the Trump administration planned to rally countries in the region to help hold Iran to account for its suspected nuclear weapons-related work.
“You’ll see in a handful of days the Iranians intend to launch a space launch vehicle,” Pompeo told the Free Beacon. “The claim is that it is to put some satellites in the air. The truth is this will be another step in their understanding of how it is you can launch an ICBM.”
“The whole world needs to come together to oppose that,” Pompeo added.
He went on to confirm the Trump administration’s policy that such tests by Iran violate U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which declares that Iran must stop its ongoing tests of various types of advanced ballistic missiles.
Pompeo noted that it was the administration’s hope that countries throughout the region would come together to condemn Iran and help to curb its nuclear ambitions.
Iranian government and religious leaders in the past have frequently threatened to destroy Israel using nuclear weapons.
“The nuclear proliferation risks from Iran are incredibly real,” Pompeo noted further.