US Claims Iran Satellite Launch Failed, Imposes New Sanctions

Iran Still Says Launch Was a Success

Yesterday, Iran launched a test of the Simorgh, a rocket capable of putting satellites in orbit, from their new space center. Officials from US Strategic Command are now claiming that the rocket failed, and might conceivably have blown up before it reached space.

Strategic Command monitors launches around the world, but appears to be light on specifics for the Iran launch, saying they only thing they know for sure is that no satellite was put into orbit from the Simorgh launch, and seemingly only guessing about the blowing up thing.

Iran, however, insists the test was a success, and their statements don’t claim a satellite was put into orbit, only that the rocket, which has been worked on since 2010, is now capable of doing so. Since past launches of the same system failed rather publicly, it would be strange for Iran to try to pass this one off as a success if it wasn’t, and stranger still for only the US Strategic Command to be able to notice a failure, and for literally no one to see the putative explosion.

Either way, the US Treasury Department imposed new sanctions, supposedly over the “provocative space launch,” with new sanctions targeting their ballistic missiles program, claiming that violates a UN resolution forbidding nuclear missile development. This is done despite the rocket clearly not being a nuclear missile, Iran have a nuclear deal which precludes them being able to make a missile, and despite claims the rocket doesn’t even work.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of