Israeli Satellite Photo Allegedly Shows Cleanup Effort at Iranian Spaceport Days After Failed Rocket Launch

Middle East

Last week, the US slapped sanctions on Iran’s Space Agency, Space Research Centre and Astronautics Research Institute following the August 29 explosion of a rocket on the launch pad at the Imam Khomeini Space Centre in northern Iran.

Israeli satellite intelligence company ImageSat International has released a satellite image it claims shows support vehicles removed from the area around the launch pad at the Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Semnan province, northern Iran.

The image, whose authenticity could not be independently verified, was dated September 2, and led ImageSat to conclude that the Safir rocket mobile erector launcher system would “be probably removed soon” as well.

The satellite image was released following the US Treasury’s announcement earlier this week that it would be sanctioning Iranian space-related organisations.

On Monday, Iranian authorities formally acknowledged that a rocket had exploded due to a malfunction during testing, but said the rocket involved was a test rocket with no satellite onboard.

US President Donald Trump caught flak last week for tweeting what appeared to be a US intelligence image reportedly showing the damage at the launch site after it was claimed that the snap may have come from a highly secretive US intelligence-gathering satellite. Trump later told reporters that he had “the absolute right to do so.” The US president also sarcastically wished Iran “best wishes…

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