US slaps sanctions on Iranian space agencies

The US government has imposed sanctions on three Iranian space organizations, accusing them of helping to develop ballistic missiles.

The US Treasury Department announced on Tuesday that it will slap sanctions on the Iran Space Agency and two affiliated research organizations linked to the development of rockets and satellites.

The US State Department said in a statement that "Iran's civilian space launch vehicle program allows it to gain experience with various technologies necessary for development" of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Last Friday, US President Donald Trump posted a photo on Twitter of what appeared to be an aerial view of an Iranian rocket launch facility. He wrote that an accident had occurred during preparations for a rocket launch.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Iran's recent attempt to launch a space vehicle underscored the "urgency of the threat." He stressed that "the United States will not allow Iran to use its space launch program as cover to advance its ballistic missile programs."