What Happened: The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions against the Iranian Space Agency, the Iranian Space Research Center and the Iranian Astronautics Research Institute on Sept. 3 by adding them to its list of Specially Designated Nationals.
Why It Matters: The United States argues that Iran is using its space program as a cover to develop ballistic missiles due to the dual-use nature of aerospace technology. Tehran is already developing short-range and medium-range ballistic missiles, while its aerospace program is laying some of the groundwork for the future development of its ballistic missiles.
Background: The new U.S. sanctions against Iran come roughly a week after Tehran attempted its third space launch of the year. That launch, however, was unsuccessful, resulting in heavy damage at the Imam Khomeini National Space Center.
- Iran Goes All in for a Game of Nuclear Chicken (July 11, 2019)
- Tehran Journeys Down a Provocative Nuclear Path (July 8, 2019)
- Where Does Iran Fit in a World Defined by Great Power Competition? (May 20, 2019)