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Netanyahu says failed Iranian satellite launch was an attempt to develop ICBM

This picture released by the official website of the Iranian Defense Ministry on Thursday, July 27, 2017, claims to show the launching of Simorgh satellite-carrying rocket in an undisclosed location, Iran.
Iranian Defense Ministry via AP

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that Iran's failed attempt to launch a satellite into orbit was a first stage in an effort to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile and warned that Israel would continue its offensive policy against Tehran's entrenchment in Syria.

Speaking at the induction of the new Chief of the General Staff, Major General Aviv Kochavi in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu took Iran to task over their growing influence in the Middle East and mocked Iran's claims that it had only an advisory presence in Syria.

"I advise them to get out of there quickly because we will continue our offensive policy as we promised and as we do without fear and without pause,” Netanyahu said in a warning to Iran.

Netanyahu alleged that what Tehran claimed to be an "innocent satellite" was actually “the first stage of an intercontinental missile” Iran is developing in violation of international resolutions.

Earlier Tuesday, Iran's minister of telecommunications Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said in a statement carried by state television that the rocket carrying the 'Payam' satellite (or 'message' in Farsi) failed to "reach the necessary speed".

There was no clarifications as to when the second satellite, called 'Doosti' (or 'friendship') would be launched.

The preparations for the launch had sparked international fears that the Iranian government was using it as a pretext to carry out ballistic missile testing.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whose whistle-stop tour of the Middle-East is coming to a close, earlier warned Iran against sending out the satellite.

“We advise the regime to reconsider these provocative launches and cease all activities related to ballistic missiles in order to avoid deeper economic and diplomatic isolation,” said Pompeo in a statement

The US top diplomat said there was no difference between the technology used to send out satellites or missiles into space.

According to Pompeo, this would violate the U.N. Security Council resolution on the 2015 nuclear deal. The resolution "calls upon" Tehran to not test ballistic missiles.

Payam was designed and developed by Tehran’s Amirkabir University of Technology. It's purpose was to capture media in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

Scientists at the university would continue their work in order to ensure a successful launch, the minister said.

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS (POOL/AFP)

Tehran denied the country was violating the UN resolution.

"The satellite is part of a civil project with purely scientific aims," foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said in a statement, reported by the Iranian Students' News Agency.

"Iran will wait for no country's permission to conduct such scientific projects."

Iran has launched several short-lived satellites into orbit over the past decade, including the Simorgh and the Pajouhesh, the official news agency IRNA reported.

Iran has expanded its influence on the region since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, bringing into question the immediate gains from pursuing intercontinental ballistic technology.

There have been multiple warnings by high-ranking Israeli officials of Iranian ally Hezbollah stockpiling weapons, and of Iranian elite troops training and leading Syrian military personnel for a confrontation with the Jewish state.

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No one can trust the word of the Iranians They are out for the destruction , not only of Israel but of all who oppose them, even the USA

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