WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday posted on Twitter a photograph of what gave the impression to be the positioning of a failed Iranian satellite tv for pc launch, elevating questions on whether or not he had disclosed U.S. surveillance secrets and techniques.
FILE PHOTO: A satellite tv for pc picture exhibits what U.S. officers say is the failed Iranian rocket launch on the Imam Khomeini Area Heart in northern Iran August 29, 2019. Satellite tv for pc picture ©2019 Maxar Applied sciences/Handout through REUTERS
The black-and-white picture confirmed the fire-blasted launch web site at an area heart in northern Iran together with a broken gantry service tower and a downed cell erector launcher.
Trump, in his tweet, cited the precise location of the positioning, saying america was not concerned within the “catastrophic accident throughout remaining launch preparations for the Safir SLV Launch at Semnan Launch Website One in Iran.”
The rocket exploded on its launch pad on Thursday, an Iranian official mentioned. A U.S. official additionally mentioned Iran suffered a satellite tv for pc launch failure.
“I want Iran greatest needs and good luck in figuring out what occurred at Website One,” Trump mentioned.
The White Home didn’t instantly present a solution to a query in regards to the picture.
Patrick Eddington, a former CIA satellite tv for pc imagery analyst, mentioned the tweeted by Trump gave the impression to be a categorized picture taken by a U.S. spy satellite tv for pc.
“If the president merely tweeted out a picture from categorized briefing that makes use of our most superior overhead assortment capabilities, it’s little doubt welcome information to our adversaries,” mentioned Eddington, now a analysis fellow on the CATO Institute.
“Whereas he has the authority to declassify any federal doc, Twitter will not be a legit or accountable method to take action.”
A U.S. protection official informed CNBC that the image, which gave the impression to be a snapshot of a bodily copy of the satellite tv for pc picture, was included in an intelligence briefing on Friday.
The Pentagon didn’t have any rapid remark.
America has warned Iran in opposition to rocket launches, fearful the expertise used to place satellites into orbit might allow Tehran to develop the ballistic missile functionality wanted to launch nuclear warheads.
Tehran denies the U.S. accusation that such exercise is a canopy for ballistic missile growth.
The Trump administration has ratcheted up financial stress on Iran this yr with financial sanctions to attempt to power it to renegotiate a pact reached with world powers in 2015 limiting its nuclear program. Trump withdrew america from the pact in Might final yr.
Trump has supplied to carry talks with Iran however Tehran says first it should get aid from U.S. sanctions.
Reporting by Steve Holland; further reporting by Jonathan Landay and Tim Ahmann; Modifying by Mary Milliken and Grant McCool