WASHINGTON, Sept 3 (KUNA) -- The US designated Tuesday the Iran Space Agency and two of its research institutes "for engaging in proliferation-sensitive activities," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced.
Pompeo said in a statement that "this is the first time the United States is designating Iran's civilian space agency for activities that advance its ballistic missile program.
"The United States will not allow Iran to use its space launch program as cover to advance its ballistic missile programs," he stressed.
He added that "Iran's August 29 attempt to launch a space launch vehicle underscores the urgency of the threat."
The US top diplomat noted that these designations "should serve as a warning to the international scientific community that collaborating with Iran's space program could contribute to Tehran's ability to develop a nuclear weapon delivery system."
Meanwhile, the Department of State noted in a separate statement that "our actions today show the flaws in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), why the United States was right to cease participation in it, and the importance of achieving a deal that prevents Iran from developing ballistic missile capabilities that could contribute to a nuclear weapon delivery system.
"This is why Secretary Pompeo has called for a new comprehensive deal that addresses all elements of Iran's malign behavior," it added.
It stressed that today's designations "continue US efforts to exert maximum pressure on the Iranian regime to address the threat it poses to international peace and security." (end)