US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of improving its ballistic missile capabilities through a satellite launch on Tuesday and promised to put more pressure on it.
Iran, the number one enemy of President Donald Trump's government, said on Sunday that it had successfully launched a satellite but had not reached orbit.
Pompeo said the technology for a space launch was "practically identical" with the expertise for a long-range ballistic missile.
"With every launch, whether successful or not, Iran can gain experience with technologies that could benefit its missile programs under the guise of a peaceful space program," said Pompeo in a statement.
"The United States will continue to build support worldwide to counter the Iranian regime's ruthless ballistic missile activity, and we will continue to put tremendous pressure on the regime to change its behavior," he said.
Trump imposed extensive sanctions on Iran in 2018 to reduce its military clout by withdrawing the United States from a nuclear deal negotiated by its predecessor Barack Obama.
Tensions increased last month after Trump ordered a drone attack that killed a top Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani, when he visited Iraq, where Iranian-allied Shiite militias fired missiles at bases where US troops were stationed were.
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