The US assesses Iran's first successful military satellite


According to two U.S. Defense Department officials, the U.S. also confirmed that Iran first placed a military satellite into orbit on Wednesday.

The move is seen as a significant step because the country's space program uses the same capabilities needed to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile that would enhance Tehran's ability to strike enemy targets.
According to one of the authorities, US Space Command tracks two orbit bodies released from within Iran. One is a rocket body, the other being the satellite. The rocket body may still be in orbit as the Iranian device is not mature enough to re-enter the atmosphere.
Earlier Wednesday, John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Staff Chiefs, said the US was closely monitoring the launch but refused to acknowledge the satellite had reached orbit.
Hyten said a successful launch would mean that Iran "has the ability, once again, to threaten its neighbours, our allies, and we want to make sure that they can never threaten the United States. So we watch that very carefully." Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Iran needed to "be held accountable" for the launch, which he said violated a resolution of the UN Security Council.




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