Iran Guard reveals secret space program in satellite launch

Iran's Guards launch its first military satellite, Middle East News & Top Stories

Iran's Revolutionary Guard Says It Launched a Military Satellite

At the State Department, Secretary Pompeo was also talking tough, saying the U.N. Security Council should respond to Iran's latest satellite launch, this one by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the USA considers to be a terrorist organization.

U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist said Trump's warning was necessary because of the behavior of Iranian boats in the North Arabian Gulf, where U.S. officials say they have recently made "dangerous and harassing" approaches toward U.S. warships.

Iran maintains it has no intention of acquiring nuclear weapons, and says its aerospace activities are peaceful and comply with a UN Security Council resolution.

At one point, the Iranian vessels came within 10 yards (9 m) of the US Coast Guard cutter Maui.

"What's been going on right now is that you can't let a boat, a fast boat, get into a position where they can threaten your ship", Hyten said. "This is confirmed by the results of numerous discussions in the United Nations security Council on the implementation of resolution 2231", Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.

Sepahnews, the Revolutionary Guards' website, said the satellite dubbed the Nour - meaning "light" in Persian - "orbited the Earth at 264 miles" above sea level.

Salami was responding to US President Donald Trump, who said that he had issued an order on Wednesday to "destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea".

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Salami's comments come a day after President Donald Trump warned Iran about the "harassment" of USA ships. Senior Pentagon officials gave no indication that Trump had directed a fundamental change in military policy on Iran.

Meanwhile, the Guard surprised analysts by sending a satellite into space on Wednesday from a previously unused launch pad and with a new system.

Parliamentary National Security Committee member Alaeddin Boroujerdi, meanwhile, told the Iranian Students' News Agency that Trump "wants to divert public opinion from the internal crisis of the United States and the shortcomings in various fields".

Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the launched vehicle "went a very long way".

Boasting about the rocket, Brigadier General Hajizadeh said that Iran is now part of the club of superpowers that have rockets combining solid and liquid fuel. "I think the president's message was crystal clear and we don't need any more actions", he said.

The U.S.is generally critical of the Iranian satellite programme due to fears that Iran may use space technology to build long-range military missiles.

KELEMEN: Critics of the maximum pressure campaign say these are signs that the US policy is failing if it is really meant to get Iran back to the negotiating table and not to provoke a conflict with Iran.

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