The Islamic Republic will send the satellites into orbit using a Simorgh space launch vehicle from the Imam Khomeini Space Centre. The US fears Iran could potentially use this satellite system to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles. Tehran has denied any such motive but US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has insisted Iran stop its satellite launches.

He has claimed they “incorporate technology that is virtually identical to that used in ballistic missiles”, inferring the launches would be a violation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution which prohibits Iran from testing nuclear-capable weapons.

Mr Pompeo said: ”The United States will not stand by and watch the Iranian regime’s destructive policies place international stability and security at risk.”

He added: ”We advise the regime to reconsider these provocative launches and cease all activities related to ballistic missiles in order to avoid deeper economic and diplomatic isolation.”

Iran has responded to US threats with a massive aerial drill of it’s US made F-14 Eagle and F-4 Phantom fighter jets.

Iran is to launch a satellite system in defiance of theUS (Image: GETTY)

Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh said the manoeuvres were a success and carried an important message for those at home and abroad.

According to Tasnim News Agency, General Nasirzadeh said: ”Our message to the Iranian nation is that we are ready to respond to any threat.”

Iran’s ambitions to enhance its own military strength with the development of new technologies and their cultivation of Shiite Muslim movements throughout the Middle East has antagonised the US who have reimposed strict sanctions despite pleas from European allies.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told attendees at a ceremony on January 10 he was “proud of our defensive and scientific missiles” and “we are sending two satellites to space soon”.

As Mike Pompeo embarks upon a “counter-Iran revolution” tour of the Middle East, he said launching the satellites would violate the UN Security Council resolution on the 2015 nuclear deal, which “calls upon” Iran to not test ballistic missiles.

Iran has pointed out that the International Atomic Energy Agency monitoring compliance has consistently found Iran has been meeting its commitments.

In February 2018, Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, called for greater efforts to ensure Iran was able to defend its ballistic missile ambitions.

He said: “Without a moment of hesitation, the country must move to acquire whatever is necessary for defence, even if the whole world is opposed to it.”

The Iranians have insisted their satellites are for telecommunications and the new satellite images released indicate they do not plan to heed Pompeo’s warning.

Source » express