On Wednesday, Fox News reported that Iran launched another missile from the same launchpad that it conducted a ballistic missile test last month. Fox News stated that a U.S. official confirmed that Iran launched a short-range Mersad surface-to-air missile again this week, which is a different style missile than the previous medium-range ones they have test fired since Trump came into office. This marks the third missile test that Iran has conducted since Trump was elected, and the first since the U.S. placed sanctions on Iran for their missile activity.
Last week, Fox News reported that satellite photos showed Iran had placed a Safir rocket on the Semnan launch pad just east of Tehran, but had removed it before firing for an unknown reason. Officials told Fox that there has been large amounts of activity on the Semnan launch pad in recent weeks.
On Thursday, Iran’s Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan rejected the reports coming from American media, saying that the accusations of another missile launch are false and the claim was fabricated to incite “Iranophobia.”
“The new claim by the Americans about a new missile test by Iran is fabricated and is aimed at inciting animosity, psychological war and Iranophobia,” Dehqan said.
“First of all, these claims are fabricated and such an incident has not happened at all. Secondly, it would be absolutely none of their business if such a test had ever been conducted,” Dehqan continued. “Thirdly, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s missile program is a conventional program and its missile tests are conducted as part of pre-planned programs aimed at maintaining our country’s defense preparedness.”
Last Wednesday, the Trump administration took a hard stance against Iran’s aggressive actions by officially placing the Islamic Republic “on notice.” National security advisor Michael Flynn spoke out against Iran during a press briefing at the White House.
“The Trump Administration condemns such actions by Iran that undermine security, prosperity and stability throughout and beyond the Middle East which places American lives at risk,” Flynn said.
“As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice,” Flynn concluded.
Just two days later on Feb. 3rd, the Trump administration imposed new sanctions on Iran for their ballistic missile tests. The U.S. Department of Treasury targeted 13 individuals and 12 entities in the sanctions, aimed at hurting Iran’s economy.
The same day, President Donald Trump tweeted: “Iran is playing with fire – they don’t appreciate how “kind” President Obama was to them. Not me!”
Days later, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told reporters that Trump’s remarks were “hostile” and “threatening” and that the U.S. should not be concerned with Iran’s missile testing.
“The missile program and all our other domestic affairs are solely related to the government, establishment and the people of Iran,” Ghasemi said. “We make our own decisions on national interests and do not need any consultations or negotiations with outsiders.”