Satellite images revealed on Thursday a second failed attempt by Iran to launch a satellite into orbit, despite US and European warnings that its space program helps the country develop ballistic missiles.
Iranian Chief of Staff Mohammad Bagheri said that his country would “not fear threats” aimed at forcing it to negotiate its defense and missile capabilities.
While Iran issued a statement confirming the launching operation, the Associated Press (AP) reported that images released by the Colorado-based company DigitalGlobe showed a rocket at the Imam Khomeini Space Center in Iran’s Semnan province on Tuesday. Images from Wednesday showed the rocket was gone with what appears to be burn marks on its launch pad.
According to the AP, the images showed words written in Farsi in large characters on the launch pad, saying in part “40 years” and “Iranian made,” in different sections.
The agency said it was possibly a reference to the 40th anniversary of Iran’s Revolution, which authorities have been celebrating this month.
A few days ago, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had tweeted sharp criticism against the Iranian regime’s policies.
Adding the hashtag “Forty Years of Failure”, he said “Iran's corrupt regime has delivered nothing but broken promises”, sparking widespread disaffection among Iranians.
In a strongly-worded statement earlier this month, European countries condemned Iran’s missile activities that contradict UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
The United States says the launches are contrary to a UN Security Council resolution banning any activities related to the development of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
Although Iran denies possessing a nuclear weapon, the country has missile launchers and sometimes conducts missile tests that do not include military components. Iran also asserts it does not violate the UN resolution, which only prohibits conducting any nuclear tests, according to Tehran.