The United States has now sanctioned Iran for launch pad blast of its unsuccessful space launch. Ironically, just before the sanctions were put in place, Trump had taken to social media and spelled out surveillance image footage, which has apparently considered a confidential piece of information, not for public consumption.
His tone was that of ridicule with a declaration that ‘the US had nothing to do with what transpired at the launch site.’
The US Treasury is confirmed to have particularly targeted the Iran Space Agency, Iran Space Research Center and Astronautics Research Institute with the sanctions.
The Trump administration says it has enough reasons to believe that Tehran is indulging in building ballistic missiles under the cover of a civilian program to launch satellites into orbit.
Officials at the Iranian Imam Khomeini Space Center have confirmed that the blast was a result of a malfunction. But Trump administration has reasons to believe that the Iranian space launch programme is a guise.
Speaking over the latest decision to levy a sanction, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had substantiated on this thought and said that the “urgency of the threat” was underscored by Iran’s recent attempt to launch a space vehicle. “The United States will not allow Iran to use its space launch program as cover to advance its ballistic missile programs,” he said in a statement announcing the sanctions.
It is not clear that with this move, the Trump administration can subject foreign companies and governments, including international space cooperation organizations, to penalties if they have any involvement with the Iranian space agency. They would also freeze any of the agency’s assets in US jurisdictions, though there aren’t likely to be any given the state of relations between the two nations.