U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
Statement by Robert Palladino, Deputy Spokesperson
February 7, 2019
In defiance of the international community, the Iranian regime continues to develop and test ballistic missiles, including a reported second failed space launch in less than a month. Space launch vehicles use technologies that are virtually identical and interchangeable with those used in ballistic missiles, including in Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs). This attempted launch furthers Iran’s ability to eventually build such a weapon that threatens our allies.
The Iranian regime has continued to exploit the goodwill of nations and defied multiple Security Council resolutions in its quest for a robust ballistic missile force. The Iranian regime continues to increase its investment in missile testing and missile proliferation even as its economy crumbles and its people suffer. Today Iran has the largest ballistic missile force in the Middle East. Iran has also exported ballistic missile systems to malign actors in the region, threatening innocent civilians.
Iran continues to defy UNSCR 2231 brazenly, working to enhance missile capabilities that threaten our allies. Iran’s blatant disregard for international norms must be addressed. We must bring back tougher international restrictions to deter Iran’s missile program. The United States will continue to be relentless in building support around the world to confront the Iranian regime’s reckless ballistic missile activity, and we will continue to impose sufficient pressure on the regime so that it changes its malign behavior – including by fully implementing all of our sanctions.