France on Friday condemned Iran’s launch of a missile Thursday, coinciding with Resumption of negotiations on the nuclear program Iran and its “progress”.
“France condemns this launch, which is inconsistent with UN Security Council Resolution 2231,” the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that “these activities are extremely regrettable, especially as they come at a time when we are making progress in the nuclear negotiations in Vienna.”
On Thursday, Iran announced the launch of a missile into space carrying equipment for research purposes, in a move that raised “concern” in Washington, which stressed the need to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement.
The French Foreign Ministry added, “Given the great convergence of technologies used in launching space and ballistic missiles, this launch is a direct part of Iran’s worrying progress in its ballistic missile program. The role of the Ministry of Defense in the launch process shows the great link between these two programs.”
It noted that “this launch follows the launch of ballistic missiles on December 24” in a process that is also inconsistent with Resolution 2231, which “calls on Iran not to engage in activities related to ballistic missiles that are designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”
“The Iranian ballistic program is a source of concern for the international community,” the statement added, calling on Iran “to respect its obligations (…), including those related to the transfer of sensitive weapons and technologies.”
The missile launch coincided with negotiations to save the Vienna Agreement, which resumed at the end of November between Tehran and the countries that are still party to the agreement (France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China) after a five-month break.
The negotiations aim to restore the United States to the agreement after its withdrawal from it in 2018 and the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran. Washington participates in the talks in an indirect way.
The Times newspaper in the British capital reported in its December 31 edition that the Iranian Space Agency yesterday demonstrated a new satellite-carrying missile, thus sending a message to the Western powers that are negotiating with Tehran over the future of its nuclear program.
And the London Times continued: “The success was limited, and the rocket failed to reach a speed sufficient to put three satellites into orbit, but the rocket itself reached an altitude of 290 miles (470 km).”
The newspaper commented: “Western powers closely monitor Iran’s space program, and consider it a “dual use”, as in addition to being part of a real effort to launch satellites, it also includes ballistic missile technology.
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