Donald Trump has said he had “the absolute right” to tweet a photo of what appeared to be the site of a failed Iranian satellite launch, prompting questions over whether the president had disclosed US surveillance secrets.
The high resolution satellite image appears to show the aftermath of a rocket having exploded on the launchpad of Iran’s main space centre.
In his tweet on Friday, Mr Trump cited the specific location of the site, saying the US was not involved in the “catastrophic accident during final launch preparations for the Safir SLV Launch at Semnan Launch Site One in Iran”.
He ended his tweet in what appeared to be a sarcastic tone, saying “I wish Iran best wishes and good luck in determining what happened at Site One”.
The United States of America was not involved in the catastrophic accident during final launch preparations for the Safir SLV Launch at Semnan Launch Site One in Iran. I wish Iran best wishes and good luck in determining what happened at Site One. pic.twitter.com/z0iDj2L0Y3
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 30 августа 2019 г.
Speaking to reporters at the White House later, Mr Trump defended his posting of the photo and reiterated that the US had nothing to do with the incident.
“We had a photo. I released it, which I have the absolute right to do,” he said.
He said the Iranians “were going to set off a big missile and it didn’t work out too well. Had nothing to do with us”.