TEHRAN – The Iranian Space Agency (ISA), in a letter to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), lodged an official complaint against the US destructive sanctions against scientific centers of Tehran, denouncing the move as unlawful and illegal.
Head of the ISA Morteza Barari, in an official letter to Director of the UNOOSA Simonetta Di Pippo, protested against the US “unlawful and illegal” sanctions against the ISA, Iran Space Research Center, and the Iranian Aerospace Research Institute.
Iran’s Permanent Mission to the UN and other International Organizations in Vienna submitted the letter on Wednesday. The letter emphasized that all three mentioned sanctioned entities have mandate and responsibilities to cover and support civilian peaceful applications of space.
While denouncing US action which is “in clear contradiction with the principle of international space law”, the letter reminded that as Iran is among the countries prone to natural disasters such as earthquake, flooding, etc., it is struggling to prevent these disasters and mitigate their effects through space science and technology.
In the letter, Iran also regretted the negative impacts of the US recent action on Iran’s readiness in the relevant international fora such as COPUOS and APSCO for international cooperation with other countries in designing, manufacturing and launching or even purchasing satellites.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran as a party to Liability Convention (1967), Rescue Agreement (1968), and signatory to Outer Space Treaty (1967) has always emphasized the mere peaceful exploration and the use of outer space and prevention of arms race in this sphere. We expect our legitimate rights on access to space and to have peaceful space activities be respected by all members of the COPUOS,” read the letter.
In the end, the letter called all UN Member States to strongly condemn the recent US “illegal and illegitimate” sanctions on Iran’s space entities and asked the UNOOSA to emphasize their refraining from promulgating and applying any measures that impede peaceful activities in space in its communication with member states and in COPUOS sessions. Early in September, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Washington’s sanctions against the three science and research centers.
“The United States will not allow Iran to use its space launch program as cover to advance its ballistic missile programs. Iran’s August 29 attempt to launch a space launch vehicle underscores the urgency of the threat,” claimed the former CIA chief.
Following the US decision, Iranian Communication and IT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, in a post on his Twitter page, mocked Washington’s recent sanctions on Tehran’s space program, saying space is too vast to be controlled by US President Donald Trump.
“I can’t even locate the US in this picture, let alone sanctions on Space! The universe and the Bright Future belong to everyone, not to a few! Stop imitating Thanos, Donald Trump!” Azari Jahromi tweeted along with a mesmerizing photo of outer space.
He lambasted Trump, mocking him over “imitating” the space supervillain from the Marvel universe, Thanos, the so-called Mad Titan, portrayed by Josh Brolin in the Avengers franchise, who destroyed half the population.
A day later, Barari underlined that Iran’s space activities are fully peaceful, and the membership of the Agency in the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and the position of the country in international communities is solid evidence of this.
He stressed that the US sanctions against Iran’s space centers and activities will not leave any impacts on their development