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US sanctions Iran’s space program

The United States imposed sanctions on Iran’s civilian space agency and two research organizations for its involvement in the regime’s ballistic missile development, the State  Department  announced.

In a statement, the department sanctioned the Iran Space Agency and two affiliates for “engaging in proliferation-sensitive activities.”

The sanctions, part of a years-long U.S. pressure campaign to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons, are the first imposed on Iran’s space agencies, according to the State Department.

The announcement came five days after a rocket exploded at the Imam Khomeini Space Center in the northern province of Semnan. An Iranian official said the explosion resulted from a technical malfunction during a test.

However,  Tehran denies its space activity is a cover for developing weapon launches.

Trump withdrew from a 2015 multi-national nuclear deal with Iran, saying it did not go far enough.

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