Comments by Spokesperson Jen Psaki on Iranian Satellite Launch (Excerpts)

February 2, 2015

Weapon Program: 

  • Missile

[. . .]

QUESTION: I have a question on Iran. There are reports out of Iran that the government has launched and put a satellite into orbit. Is this a source of concern for the U.S. Administration? Do you have any comments on that?

MS. PSAKI: We are aware of those reports, and as we’ve said before, Iran’s missile program continues to pose a dangerous threat to the region and is an issue we monitor closely. And our longstanding concerns regarding Iran’s missile development efforts are shared by the international community, which has passed a series of UN Security Council resolutions focused on Iran’s proliferation-sensitive activities.

One of the issues we are taking up in the negotiations, as you know, is how to deal with the ballistic missile capabilities of delivering nuclear warheads. That issue has been discussed and will continue to be discussed as part of the negotiations.

QUESTION: In the past when another country that you have significant nuclear concerns about, North Korea, has made – done such launches, you – there has been discussion of additional sanctions at the UN. Is that not the case here with Iran? Is it – is there any discussion of – considering this issue is not the primary one of the negotiations, does it raise the level of concern to the point where you might consider new penalties?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have anything to predict at this point in time. I’m happy to talk to our team. Obviously, these reports just came out, so --

QUESTION: Can we say that the subject of missile program and their airspace activities are being discussed in the --

MS. PSAKI: Well, ballistic missile capabilities are. We’ve long said that. That’s not new information, but --

QUESTION: They’re being discussed among the P5+1?

MS. PSAKI: As a part of the negotiations. That’s long been the case.

[. . .]