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Iran’s missile program: Ballistic missile tests disguised as satellite launches

Ballistic missile test by the Iranian regime
Ballistic missile test by the Iranian regime

Analysis by PMOI/MEK


Jan. 31, 2019 - The Iranian regime’s ballistic missile test, carried out under the pretext of the “Payam” satellite launch vehicle on January 15, failed when the supposed satellite didn't reach the Earth’s orbit. Governments across the globe, including France, condemned this missile launch as a violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231.

This embarrassment for the Iranian regime came after the mullahs’ President Hassan Rouhani made a speech prior to the test claiming an “imminent” satellite launch by the Iranian regime.

“We are a country that in a few days, God willing, we will launch two satellites into space. The Payam satellite, built by our own university, will soon be sent to space by an indigenous satellite launch vehicle. This satellite will orbit us six times a day,” he claimed.

Following these claims the French Foreign Ministry responded by saying the Iranian regime must immediately halt missile activities related to nuclear weapons, including missile test launches.

According to the Iranian Resistance’s own intelligence, the mullahs’ regime is continuing with its missile activities and ballistic missile test launches under the guise of research satellite launches.

The Iranian Resistance intelligence also indicates the January 15 Payam satellite launch and the December 1, 2018, ballistic missile test were carried out following green lights provided by Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and a decision by the regime’s Supreme National Security Council. All Shahab-3 missile launches and others, including Sejjil, Ghadr and satellite launch vehicles – all capable of delivering nuclear payloads – are only carried out after Khamenei himself gives the green light.

In this regard, Hassan Firouzabadi, former chief of staff of the Iranian regime’s armed forces, made an interesting acknowledgement on November 12, 2016: “If [Khamenei] provides the permission, the missiles are then launched. If he does not, the test will not go through. Even the very timing of the launch are specified by Khamenei.”

It is worth noting that the satellite launch vehicle tests are carried out by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Air & Space Force. These missiles are constructed by the IRGC Air & Space Organization by IRGC experts. Furthermore, through the use of non-military names, the Iranian regime seeks to claim these are civilian test launches for scientific and research purpose.

It is worth noting that the IRGC Air & Space organization was established to expand the regime’s missile activities as one of Tehran’s main strategic objectives to maintain their rule, and continue warmongering across the region and abroad.

IRGC Brigadier General Hassan Tehrani Moghadam, the most prominent IRGC missile expert, died on November 22, 2011, during a final test launch of a ballistic missile designed for a satellite deliver vehicle. This test was carried out and an IRGC base named “Modarres” located southeast of Tehran. The explosion resulted from a short circuit in the missiles warhead electric system.

Iranians living east of Tehran heard the massive explosion and even pieces of the base were projected many kilometers away. In addition to Hassan Tehrani Moghadam, the IRGC also lost a number of its highest-ranking experts.

It is crystal clear that missile test launches are being carried despite global condemnations and resulting consequences. This shows how the Iranian regime desperately needs such measures to cloak the truth of its very weak and crisis-riddled status quo.