Iran and North Korea are described by intelligence services and the mainstream media as 2 of America’s most dangerous enemies and according to US senior officials speaking to Fox News, things are getting heavy: a defiant North Korea is preparing to test another intercontinental ballistic missile, with a launch being expected as soon as Wednesday night, while Iran is making big steps forward with regard to its space program, preparing to launch its own satellite into space.
In Iran’s case, the name of the game is Simorgh, the Iranian space launch vehicle which is believed to be preparing to try launching a satellite into orbit. This is the second time in as many years that Iran is looking to become a “space power”, i.e. to launch an operational satellite into Earth’s orbit. Until now, the Islamic republic has failed in its space-race endeavor, with their last failed mission taking place in April of 2016. The US intelligence community is closely monitoring Iran’s Semnan launch center, which is located east of Tehran, where experts believe the 1st and second-stage air-frames are being assembled on a launch pad, with a space-launch being expected to occur at any time now.
Tehran conducted a ballistic test in a matter of days after President Trump took office, an event which prompted Washington to put Iran “on notice” to use the POTUS’ parlance. However, Iran stayed defiant and tested a number of cruise and ballistic missiles since then, including one launched from a submarine earlier in May. That type of midget-sub is currently used by both Iran and North Korea and the countries were accused of sharing missile technology.
According to a missile proliferation expert, Jeffrey Lewis respectively:
“The very first missiles we saw in Iran were simply copies of North Korean missiles,”Over the years, we’ve seen photographs of North Korean and Iranian officials in each other’s countries, and we’ve seen all kinds of common hardware.”
Obviously, Iran claims its space program is for peaceful purposes only, but it’s very clear that missiles that are built to launch a satellite into space can also be used for carrying warheads (read ICBM), i.e. for creating long-distance weapons perfectly capable of hitting US mainland. According to UN resolution 2231, Iran is, let me quote:
“called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology,”
The same US intelligence officials claim that Pyongyang is preparing for (another) an imminent ICBM test as fueling equipment and trucks were reportedly moved to a launch pad in the close vicinity of Kusong, a small town near China’s border with North Korea.
Photo ©Vahid Reza Alaei