Russia dismisses as ‘baseless’ US claims on IRGC satellite launch

Press TV – Russia has dismissed as “baseless” claims by the United States that the recent launch of Iran’s first-ever military satellite by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) violates a United Nations Security Council resolution endorsing the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

On Wednesday, the IRGC Aerospace Force launched the Nour (Light) satellite via the Qassed (Carrier) carrier, a move US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was quick to condemn as a violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231.

“This would not be the first time that a nation that has flagrantly breached the norms of international law and violated UNSC resolution 2231 is trying to deflect international condemnation by baselessly accusing Iran of noncompliance with the requirements of the Security Council,” Russia’s Sputnik news agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying at a briefing on Thursday.

She noted that neither the resolution nor the 2015 Iran nuclear deal restrict Iran’s right to explore space to peaceful ends.

She added that Iran has made it clear that it does not intend to develop nuclear weapons, unlike the US, which has over the past months unveiled several plans to expand its nuclear arsenal.

“There are no, there have never been, and hopefully there will never be nuclear weapons in Iran. Iran, adhering to the resolution, does not develop, test or use ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons, unlike the United States, which surprises the world every single day with news about plans to develop their nuclear missile capabilities,” she said.

The remarks came after Pompeo said Iran needed “to be held accountable” for the launch, claiming that the move violated UNSC Resolution 2231.

This is while the resolution in question calls on Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”

The Nour-1 is Iran’s first multi-purpose satellite with application in the defense industry, among other areas. It is also the first Iranian satellite with an expected operational life of more than a year in Earth’s orbit.