Iran poised to launch rocket into space, as North Korea readies another missile test, US officials say

Two enemies of America are poised for upcoming rocket launches, two senior U.S. officials told Fox News, with another North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile launch expected as soon as Wednesday night and Iran on the verge of sending its own vehicle into space. Iran’s Simorgh space-launch vehicle is believed to be carrying a satellite, marking the second time in more than a year that Tehran has attempted to put an operational satellite into orbit — something the Islamic Republic has never done successfully, according to one of the officials who has not authorized to discuss a confidential assessment. Iran’s last space launch in April 2016 failed to place a satellite into orbit, the official said. The intelligence community is currently monitoring Iran’s Semnan launch center, located about 140 miles east of Tehran, where officials say the “first and second stage airframes” have been assembled on a launch pad and a space launch is expected “at any time,” according to the official. Just days after President Trump took office, Iran conducted its first ballistic missile test under the new administration, prompting the White House to put Tehran “on notice.” Since then there have been other ballistic missile and cruise missile tests, including one from a midget submarine in early May — a type of submarine used by both Iran and North Korea. North Korea and Iran have long been accused of sharing missile technology. “The very first missiles we saw in Iran were simply copies of North Korean missiles,” said Jeffrey Lewis, a missile proliferation expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. “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.”

 

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