UPDATE: The U.S. military has confirmed that two objects reached orbit, one the satellite and the other likely the rocket’s upper stage.
Iran yesterday claimed it had successfully completed its first military orbital launch.
Using a mobile launcher at a new launch site, the Guard said it put the “Noor,” or “Light,” satellite into a low orbit circling the Earth. While the U.S., Israel and other countries declined to immediately confirm the satellite reached orbit, their criticism suggested they believed the launch happened.
There is no doubt Iran is aggressively trying to raise its presence as a space power. However, until this launch is firmly confirmed as successful, we must be skeptical of any claims they make, as they have lied repeatedly about previous launches.
At the same time, the use of a mobile launcher to attempt to get a satellite into orbit indicates they are developing very dangerous capabilities. With a mobile launcher, there is no need to build a complex launch facility. You can launch from practically anywhere, which makes it just about impossible to destroy the rocket facility beforehand.