Minister calls on Trump to stop imitating fictional character as U.S. sanctions Iran’s space program 

September 4, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian Information and Communications Technology Minister Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi has mocked U.S. President Donald Trump over “imitating” the space supervillain from the Marvel universe, Thanos.

“I can’t even locate the US in this picture, let alone sanctions on Space! The universe & #BrightFuture belong to everyone, not to a few! Stop imitating #Thanos, Donald Trump!” Azari Jahromi tweeted on Wednesday along with a photo of outer space.

Thanos, the so-called Mad Titan, is a fictional character portrayed by Josh Brolin in the Avengers franchise and he destroyed half the population.

Jahromi’s tweet came one day after the U.S. imposed sanctions against Iran’s space program.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Treasury stated that Washington had imposed sanctions on the Iranian Space Agency, Space Research Centre, and Astronautics Research Institute. According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, they were retaliated for "engaging in proliferation-sensitive activities". He also stated that this is the first time that the U.S. is sanctioning Iran’s civilian space agency for activities related to advancing the country’s ballistic missile program.

The move followed the failed testing at the end of August in which, according to government spokesman Ali Rabiei, an explosion occurred on the launch pad while no satellite had yet been transferred to it.

The spokesman said that a rocket had indeed exploded at its Imam Khomeini Space Centre due to a malfunction during testing, rejecting claims that the incident had been manipulated from outside.

Trump shared a satellite image of what appeared to be the burnt rocket launch pad and damaged vehicles at the space center on Saturday, denying U.S. involvement in the accident and wishing Iranian authorities "good luck in determining what happened" at the site.

The United States has repeatedly warned Iran against rocket launches, even though they are not barred under the 2015 nuclear deal, claiming that the Middle Eastern country's space program is furthering its military-grade missile development. The Islamic Republic, for its part, has consistently said that its space program is being developed only for peaceful purposes.

SP/PA
 

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