Russia is defending Iran’s right to launch a satellite, dismissing U.S. claims that Tehran was defying the U.N. resolution endorsing the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers by sending it into space.
Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, said that “the ongoing attempts of the United States side to deprive Iran of the right to reap the benefits of peaceful space technology under false pretexts are a cause for serious concern and profound regret.”
He dismissed as misleading U.S. accusations that the April 22 satellite launch carried out by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps went against the 2015 resolution.
“Iran has never possessed nuclear weapons, nor does it possess these weapons now, nor, we expect, will it ever possess them in the future,” Nebenzia said in a letter to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the Security Council circulated Thursday.
Since the Iran nuclear deal was adopted in 2015, he said, “Iran has been the most verified state by the International Atomic Energy Agency” and “it is an established fact that Iran does not possess, nor develop, nor test or use ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”
The Russian ambassador was responding to a letter from U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft to the council president last month saying that “space launch vehicles incorporate technologies that are virtually identical to and interchangeable with those used in ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”