On Tuesday, US Secretary Mike Pompeo accused Iran of sharpening its ballistic missile skills through a satellite launch and promised to bring more pressure on Tehran to prevent its missile development. Iran claimed on Sunday that its latest attempt to launch a satellite had failed to place it in orbit as planned.
Mike Pompeo said in a statement, “Each launch, whether failed or not, further allows Iran to gain experience using such technologies that could benefit its missile programs under the guise of a peaceful space program.”
“The United States will continue to build support around the world to confront the Iranian regime’s reckless ballistic missile activity, and we will continue to impose enormous pressure on the regime to change its behavior,” he added.
The Trump administration in 2018, the US imposed sanctions on 700 Iranian as part of its “largest ever single day” of economic penalties against Tehran to fulfil President Trump’s campaign pledge to take a harder line against the Islamic republic. The US withdrew former President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal calling it to be “fatally flawed.”
The tensions between the United States and Iran is simmering since the last 40 years, which hit a boiling point last month after Trump responded to Iranian-allied Shiite militias attacks on bases housing US troops in Iraq by ordering a drone strike.
The airstrike by the US on January 3, 2020, at Baghdad’s international airport, killed a top Iranian general, Qassem Suleimani. He was commander of an elite wing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and arguably the second most powerful person in Iran after the supreme leader. He was targeted by the US while being driven from Baghdad airport by local allies. Thousands of Iranians gathered to mourn him and protest against the US.