US says Iran space launch provocative, flouts UN resolution

This picture released by the official website of the Iranian Defense Ministry on Thursday, July 27, 2017, claims to show the launching of Simorgh satellite-carrying rocket in an undisclosed location, Iran. (Iranian Defense Ministry via AP)© The Associated Press This picture released by the official website of the Iranian Defense Ministry on Thursday, July 27, 2017, claims to show the launching of Simorgh satellite-carrying rocket in an undisclosed location, Iran. (Iranian Defense…)
WASHINGTON — The United States says Iran committed a “provocative act” that flouted a U.N. Security Council resolution by launching its most advanced satellite-carrying rocket to date into space.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert says the launch also violates the spirit of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iranian state media have said Iran successfully launched a “Simorgh” rocket that can carry a 550 pound (250 kilogram) satellite. The State Department says that type of technology is inherently designed to be able to carry a nuclear payload.

The Security Council resolution that enshrined the nuclear deal discourages but doesn’t explicitly prohibit Iran from launching ballistic missiles that could carry a nuclear warhead. Despite the deal limiting Iran’s nuclear activity, the U.S. has continued to punish Tehran for developing ballistic missile technology.

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