Trump Says U.S. 'Not Involved' In Iranian Rocket Launch Explosion
August 30, 2019
U.S. President Donald Trump says Washington had nothing to do with the explosion of an Iranian rocket as it sat on its launchpad at the Imam Khomeini Space Center.
"The United States of America was not involved in the catastrophic accident during final launch preparations for the Safir" rocket, Trump tweeted on August 30.
"I wish Iran best wishes and good luck in determining what happened," he added in the tweet, which was accompanied by a satellite image that appeared to show a destroyed missile and significant damage to a launch site.
The August 29 explosion is believed to be Iran's third failed launch of a rocket attempting to enter Earth orbit this year.
Reuters quoted an Iranian official as saying on condition of anonymity the same day that the incident was caused by "some technical issues and it exploded but our young scientists are working to fix the problem."
A U.S. official said Iran had suffered a satellite launch failure.
On August 24, U.S. National Public Radio, citing satellite imagery it received from Planet Labs, reported that it appeared as if Iran was preparing to launch a rocket into space.
The United States has accused Tehran of using the technology to launch satellites into orbit as part of its effort to develop nuclear weapons. Iran has denied the accusation.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP
Copyright (c) 2019. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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