Iran reportedly conducted a launch of a space rocket this week that could eventually be used to power long-range missiles.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Iran launched its Simorgh space launch vehicle on Tuesday.
A U.S. defense official told the news outlet the test "was either an unsuccessful launch, or a test of third stage."
The Simorgh did not reach orbit, according to the report.
State Department spokesman John Kirby would not confirm the launch had taken place, but said U.S. officials have been keeping an eye on the situation.
"Obviously we’re watching this as best we can," Kirby said, reports the Free Beacon. "Certainly if it’s true and we’re talking about a ballistic missile launch or the testing of ballistic missile technologies, that’s obviously of concern to us. It’s not consistent, as we said before, with the Security Council resolution...."
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas told the Free Beacon the launch is a "provocation."
"An Iranian Simorgh space launch vehicle test would be a provocation of the highest order and shows Iran’s true intentions," Cotton said.
Lt. Gen. Jay Raymond, Air Force deputy chief of staff for operations, said last month he believes Iran’s rocket program has ill intentions.
"The concerning part to me is that the rocket that they use, that launch satellite, could … [have] a dual-use purpose," Raymond said, reports National Defense Magazine. "The ability to put a satellite into orbit is the same capability ... as a harmful missile."
Source: News Max, April 21