The U.S. believes an Iranian military satellite launch this week was supervised by a high-ranking commander involved in previous attacks on American targets, a senior administration official stated Thursday.
The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, stated a declassified evaluation of the launch determined that it was supervised by Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Revolutionary Guards Aerospace Force, at a site in eastern Iran.
Hajizadeh was behind the grounding of a U.S. army drone in the Gulf last June, a missile attack on U.S. service members in Iraq in January, and the downing of a Ukrainian Airlines flight near Tehran the same month, the official stated.
No U.S. soldiers were killed in the assaults in Iraq; however, over 100 had been later diagnosed with traumatic brain injury. Both Iranian and U.S. officers have stated the shooting down of the Ukrainian civilian aircraft was an error.
Iranian state TV reported that the Revolutionary Guards lifted Iran’s first army satellite Tuesday. It mentioned the satellite named Noor had reached orbit.
The space shot was from rapid deployment, mobile launch system, which is inconsistent with any civilian application, the administration official stated.
With tensions running excessive between the two nations, Trump stated Wednesday he had told the U.S. Navy to fire on any Iranian vessels that harass it at sea.