Iranian President Hassan Rouhani revealed that his country will soon launch two new satellites into orbit, using domestically-produced rockets. During a commemoration ceremony for the late Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the Iranian leader underscored the importance of the Islamic Republic’s missile program, which became a major component in Iran’s defensive capabilities. Rouhani stressed that the Iranian ballistic missile program, which according to Western powers ‘constitutes a grave-violation of U.N. security council resolution 2231‘, will allow the Islamic Republic to launch the referred to satellites, in a matter of weeks.
The comments by the Iranian president came just several hours after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed Washington’s plans to “redouble” diplomatic and commercial efforts “to put real pressure on Iran.” As part of these efforts, the American top diplomat is currently travelling across the Middle East for meetings with Arab leaders, with the aim of bolstering support among Washington’s regional partners. Among others, Secretary Pompeo made an un-announced one-day visit to Iran’s Western neighbor, Iraq, where he met with the Iraqi leadership in Baghdad and Erbil. From there, Secretary Pompeo travelled to Egypt, where he held a meeting this morning with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. A State Department source told TV7 that “countering Iran’s malign activities across the Middle East was discussed in the Secretary’s meetings, as well as the U.S. policy in Syria after President Trump’s announcement of a military withdrawal.”