The United States on Tuesday voiced concern about Iran’s launch of a satellite-carrying rocket, saying the test could boost missile work at a moment when the two nations are inching back to diplomacy.
“The United States remains concerned with Iran’s efforts to development space launch vehicles (SLVs), given these programs’ ability to advance Iran’s ballistic missile development,” a State Department spokesperson said.
“SLVs poses a significant proliferation concern due to the fact that SLVs incorporate technologies identical to, and interchangeable with, those used in ballistic missiles, including longer-range systems.”
Iran on Monday announced the first launch of the new Zoljanah carrier, boasting that it can put a 220-kilogram (1,100-pound) payload into orbit and compete with technology elsewhere in the world.
Iran says its space program is aimed at boosting business and does not violate any international agreements.
Iran successfully put its first military satellite into orbit in April, drawing a sharp rebuke from then secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who vowed repercussions.
President Joe Biden’s administration, while broadly sharing the previous leadership’s concerns about Iran, supports a return to a negotiated solution based on a 2015 nuclear accord negotiated under then-president Barack Obama.
Iran complied with the 2015 accord’s sharp limits on its nuclear program until former president Donald Trump withdrew the United States and imposed sweeping sanctions.