Have the actions taken by the Trump administration against Iran yielded results?
Iran has removed a powerful missile from a launch pad within the past few days after apparently having planned to set it off.
Satellite images from February 3, obtained by Fox News from ImageSat International and verified by US officials, show Iran preparing a Safir missile for launch at the Semnan site, where it had recently conducted an illicit missile test.
The next day, the White House issued a strongly worded statement from National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, putting Iran “on notice.”
“Iran is playing with fire – they don’t appreciate how “kind” President Obama was to them. Not me!” US President Donald Trump tweeted.
On Friday, the same day the satellite photos showed the new Safir missile on the launch pad, the White House announced new sanctions against 13 Iranian individuals and 12 Iranian companies tied to the missile program.
Days later, Iran quickly cleaned up the launch site and prepared another missile on the same launch pad. It was subsequently removed, although it is not immediately clear why.
It could be that Washington’s statements have had an effect.
In an interview on Sunday, Trump said that the US was “just starting” to take action against Tehran’s hostility.
The missile prepared for launch and then removed is the type that Iran had previously used to launch a satellite into space. The Pentagon is concerned because Safir missiles use the same components as those needed for an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could hit the US.
Iran’s ballistic program has “expanded dramatically” in the past 10 years, a senior US defense official told Fox News.
In the meantime, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday issued another warning to the White House on the occasion of the 38th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution this coming Friday.
“No enemy can paralyze the Iranian nation. Trump says ‘you should be afraid of me’. No! The Iranian people will respond to his words on Feb. 10 and will show their stance against such threats,” he stated, according to Iran’s Fars News.