The nation of Iran is claiming that they successfully launched a missile, but the United States disagrees. US intelligence officials said there was “no indication” Iran launched a medium-range ballistic missile.
Word of the alleged launch surfaced on Friday as Iran claimed a missile launch was successful.
Multiple news outlets reported on Monday that the launch was faked. According to CNN, US intelligence radars and sensors “picked up no indication” of an Iranian ballistic missile launch in the days surrounding a reported test, according to a Trump administration official familiar with the latest US assessment.
The video footage of the purported missile was over seven months old, Fox News said. This is the same period in which the Iranians conducted a failed launch where a missile exploded prematurely. The country was reportedly claiming that they were testing the Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile, a missile that has been reported to share similarities with North Korea’s counterpart, the Hwasong-10 when it exploded after traveling 600 miles.
— Press TV (@PressTV) September 23, 2017
Iran did not include the location or date of the launch at the time it released the footage. “I am not sure why the Iranians are lying about the range,” a US official told Fox News. “I think they don’t want to piss the Europeans off.”
President Donald Trump has been an outspoken critic of Iran’s missile program. He blasted the alleged missile activity on Twitter just days after he criticized the Iran nuclear deal. “Iran just test-fired a Ballistic Missile capable of reaching Israel. They are also working with North Korea,” Trump tweeted on Saturday. “Not much of an agreement we have!”
Of course, Iran maintains that their tests were “solely defensive,” as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivered a speech before the UN. “We never threaten anyone, but we do not tolerate threats from anyone,” Rouhani said on Wednesday. Rouhani also threatened to act “decisively and resolutely” if Trump pulled the US out of the Iran deal; a decision that Trump says has been “decided,” yet he would not reveal what that decision is.
Although Iran was encouraged not to conduct ballistic missile tests in the UN Security Council’s resolution, it was only “called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles” — a discrepancy that has allowed Iran to merely violate the spirit of the agreement when it conducts its ballistic missile tests.
Since 2015, Iran has conducted over 20 missile tests.