Washington: The United States on Thursday hit out at Iran over its test of a satellite-launch rocket, calling it an act that undermined regional stability and saying it appeared to violate UN Security Council resolutions.
“We consider that to be continued ballistic missile development,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters. “We consider this to be provocative action.”
Nauert added that if confirmed, the test could be a “violation of UN Security Council resolutions.”
Iranian state television broadcast footage of the takeoff from the Imam Khomeini space center, named after the late founder of the Islamic republic, in Semnan province in the east of the country.
The report said the launch vehicle, named Simorgh after a bird in Iranian mythology, was capable of propelling a satellite weighing 250 kilograms (550 pounds) to an altitude of 500 kilometres (300 miles) above earth.
Western states suspect Iran of developing the technology capable of launching long-range ballistic missiles with conventional or nuclear payloads, a charge denied by Tehran, which insists its space program has purely peaceful aims.
Tensions have mounted between Washington and Tehran since US President Donald Trump took office six months ago.