What lies behind Iran's missile launch?
Tensions between Washington and Tehran flared up again on Wednesday as the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is on the US foreign terrorist list, launched a satellite. This launch could be the start of the Regime’s long-range missile program. This week 11 armed speedboats of IRGC in the Persian Gulf came too close to US fleets, and then President Donald Trump threatened to "shoot and destroy" any Iranian gunboats that interfere with naval vessels.
Experts have called the IRGC's launch of a spacecraft a secret military space program that could reveal the progress of Iran's ballistic missiles.
Iran's Fars News Service showed off their missiles in August 2019
In UN Security Council Resolution 2231, the Security Council requested Iran to not engage in any activity in line with the development of ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
"The Pentagon has carefully examined this launch," said John Hyten, US Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "This missile traveled a very long distance and it could be a threat to other countries," Hyten declined to give classified details.
In the first official response from US, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized IRGC's launch of a military satellite, calling it a violation of UN Security Council resolutions and saying the Iranian regime should be concerned about the comfort and security of its people. "I think Iran needs to be held accountable for what it has done," Pompeo told a news conference.
At the same time, Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist said, "This is further evidence that Iran's behavior is threatening and destructive to the region. Last week's naval interception in the Persian Gulf and the launch on Wednesday are along the same line.
The U.S. Space Force's 18th battalion in a tweet identified the tracking code of Noor Satellite and confirmed it had reached its orbit.
According to the US Space Force's 18th battalion, the body of the “Ghased” missile, and the Noor satellite are both in orbit. This battalion is responsible for intercepting satellite and space activities.
According to initial estimates, the body of Noor satellite is small and can capture low-resolution images.
Last May, The United States sent thousands of troops, including long-range bombers and a carrier, to the Middle East in response to what it called a growing threat of Iran's attacks on US interests in the region.
Iran has responded with a ballistic missile attack on a base in western Iraq where US troops were stationed. No Americans have been killed, but more than 100 have suffered minor brain injuries as a result of the blasts.
Senior Pentagon officials did offer any hint to any major change in Trump’s military policy toward Iran.
Political experts see Iran's actions as a reflection of developments within Iranian society. They say Tehran has spent millions of dollars belonging to Iranian people on missiles instead of paying for treatment of Coronavirus patients (with 33,000 deaths, according to the opposition National Council of Resistance) and livelihoods of Iranian people who need to be quarantined. Also, due to the economic crisis and inefficiency in dealing with the Coronavirus crisis, after November and February uprisings in Iran and the killing of Qassem Soleimani, Tehran officials are terrified of the insurgency and unforeseen uprisings in Iranian cities.
Iran is pursuing these maneuvers, launching missiles, or harassing the US fleet in The Persian Gulf to divert public opinion inside Iran and to have an open hand to suppress the Iranian people, as evidenced by military and IRGC maneuvers inside the country, which have nothing to do with tensions with the United States. Tehran is saying that it sees the heavy US military presence in the Middle East as a threat to its security. By mentioning "security," it means “danger of overthrow of its regime” and has used it as a cover to suppress internal riots. Therefore, with great controversy and fuss, it announces the launch of a military missile into space. Tehran thinks in vain that with this show of power and international law-breaking act, it can repel and neutralize the revolts and uprisings that lie in wait.