Wednesday’s launch from what appears to be central Iran’s desert plateau may have changed that amid heightened tensions between Tehran and the U.S. over its tattered nuclear deal with world powers and as economic pressures grow. Associated Press writers Nasser Karimi, Mehdi Fattahi and Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran; Aron Heller and Josef Federman in Jerusalem; Darlene Superville, Robert Burns and Matthew Lee in Washington and Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this report. The U.S. alleges such satellite launches defy a U.N. Security Council resolution calling on Iran to undertake no activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. A first military satellite named Noor is launched into orbit by Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps in an undisclosed location, Iran, April 22, 2020. Economic pressure from the collapse of the nuclear deal, caused by President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrawing America from the accord, has seen Iran’s rial currency drastically drop in value. Learn more about Friends of the NewsHour. Wednesday marked the 41st anniversary of the founding of the Guard by Iran’s late leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Iran has had a growing space launch vehicle program aimed at putting satellites with missiles atop them into space. Trump withdrew the United States from the pact in May last year. "I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea," Trump wrote. Oct 26 The drill, called “Great Prophet 14,” also sends a message to the United States. The Guard launching its own satellite now calls that into question. Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Clarence Fernandez. The successive failures raised suspicion of outside interference in Iran’s program, something Trump himself hinted at by tweeting at the time that the U.S. “was not involved in the catastrophic accident.”. Hinz said based on state media images, the launch appeared to have happened at a previously unacknowledged Guard base near Shahroud, Iran, some 330 kilometers (205 miles) northeast of Tehran. Ballistic missile fire detected from the drill Tuesday resulted in American troops being put on alert at Al-Dhafra Air Base in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and Al-Udeid Air Base, the forward headquarters of the U.S. military’s Central Command in Qatar, the military said. TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s Revolutionary Guard launched its first satellite into space Wednesday, dramatically revealing what experts described as a secret military space program that could advance its ballistic missile development amid wider tensions between the Islamic Republic and the U.S. It said the satellite’s signals were being received. Iran has claimed it has successfully put communications and remote-sensing satellites into orbit, according to DIA, as well as small "microsatellites". The Guard, which operates its own military infrastructure parallel to Iran’s regular armed forces, is a hard-line force answerable only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Asked about the explosion that led to the failed launch, Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi, the communications minister, said the defense ministry should announce incident details, Iran’s semi-official Mehr news agency said. The launch comes as Iran has abandoned all the limitations of its tattered nuclear deal with world powers that President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from in 2018. Iranian state TV late Wednesday showed footage of what it said was the satellite and said it had orbited the earth within 90 minutes. “If so, they are vulnerable to pre-launch strikes during a crisis.”. While Iran isn’t known to have the know-how to miniaturize a nuclear weapon for a ballistic missile, any advances toward an intercontinental ballistic missile would put Europe and potentially the U.S. in range. Israel’s Foreign Ministry described the launch as a “façade for Iran’s continuous development of advanced missile technology.” German Foreign Ministry spokesman Christofer Burger warned that “the Iranian rocket program has a destabilizing effect on the region and is also unacceptable in view of our European security interests.”. The paramilitary force said it used a “Qased,” or “Messenger,” satellite carrier to put the device into space, a previously unheard-of system. Iran Guard Reveals Secret Space Program in Satellite Launch Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has launched its first satellite into space. The state-run IRAN newspaper around that time quoted the slain commander’s brother as saying he worked on an ICBM program, though the brother later denied that in subsequent interviews. “Today, the world’s powerful armies do not have a comprehensive defense plan without being in space, and achieving this superior technology that takes us into space and expands the realm of our abilities is a strategic achievement,” said Gen. Hossein Salami, the head of the Guard. In January, the. Over the past decade, Iran has sent several short-lived satellites into orbit and in 2013 launched a monkey into space. The tweet was the latest provocative threat Trump has levied against Tehran amid scrutiny of his handling of the ongoing, The tweet and satellite launch come after tensions escalated sharply in recent months. This frame grab from video shows the launching of underground ballistic missiles by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard during a military exercise.
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