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Rouhani: Iran-made rockets will 'soon' carry satellites into orbit

Hassan Rouhani
Iran will soon send two new satellites into orbit using Iran-made rockets, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Thursday.

Rouhani said the launch would take place "soon, in the coming weeks."

Iran typically displays achievements in its space program in February, during the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran has sent several short-lived satellites into orbit over the past decade, and in 2013 launched a monkey into space. The U.S. and its allies worry the same satellite-launching technology could be used to develop long-range missiles.

Last week, the United States issued a preemptive warning to Iran on Thursday against pursuing three planned space rocket launches that it said would violate U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

Iran rejected the warning, issued by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, saying its space vehicle launches and missile tests were not violations.

Pompeo said Iran planned to launch in the coming months three rockets, called Space Launch Vehicles, which he said incorporate technology "virtually identical" to what is used in intercontinental ballistic missiles.

"The United States will not stand by and watch the Iranian regime's destructive policies place international stability and security at risk," Pompeo said in a statement.