A picture taken in 2010 shows the test firing at an undisclosed location in Iran of a surface-to-surface Qiam missile / Getty Images
Trump admin moving closer to confronting the Iranian threat
Iran is preparing to launch two new domestic satellites into space, according to a new announcement by Iranian military leaders that is stirring discussion among U.S. national security insiders who say the move is likely cover for the test firing of advanced intercontinental ballistic missile technology that could be used as part of Iran’s nuclear program.
The latest test comes as the Trump administration continues to engage in a comprehensive review of the Iran nuclear agreement that U.S. officials tell the Washington Free Beacon will result in a full-scale plan to “meet the challenges Iran poses with clarity and conviction.” Continue reading →
American intelligence sources said Sunday they are not sure that Iran’s April 19 launch of its new “Simorgh” intercontinental ballistic missile was for putting a satellite into orbit, as Tehran claims. They said it may have been intended to test the third stage of the ICBM and that the Iranians had no intention of launching a satellite.Continue reading →
Western security officials now believe that sending the satellite into space is only a pretext for the primary goal of the launch, and that the actual purpose is to test a long-range ballistic missile belonging to another country. Suspicions, as stated, have fallen on Iran.
As mentioned in a previous post, and as new details emerge, the assertion of Iran’s satellite launch being focused primarily on ICBM delivery capability rather than the launching of the satellite itself has become more apparent.
Navid was launched into orbit by a missile launch-vehicle called Safir, or Ambassador. The IRNA said Safir has 20 percent more launch power compared to earlier versions Iran used to launch satellites into orbit.
According to an Iranian website Irannuc.ir, Safir is a ballistic missile launch vehicle and can be converted into use for launching intercontinental missiles. The Washington Post reports U.S. State Department officials have confirmed this claim, saying the technology used in launching Safir rocket was “critical” to developing long-range ballistic missiles. The U.S.officials also say Iran’s action violated a 2010 U.N. resolution prohibiting Iran from conducting launches using ballistic missile technology.
The West has for long been watching Iran’s space program with growing unease because its emphasis on developing ballistic missile technology will give Iran the capability to fire ICBMs carrying nuclear warheads. According to the U.S. and Israel, Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons and the ability to deliver them using intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) technology.