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Iran Releases Fake Video Trumpeting Missile Launch. Trump Believes It.

On Friday, Press TV, an Iranian international news network, released a video claiming that it had depicted a successful launch of a new type of medium-range ballistic missile.

But not only was the video taken more than seven months ago, it showed a failed launch in late January which caused the missile to explode shortly after liftoff.

To make matters worse, President Trump saw the tweet with the video, and assuming it reflected a new reality, prompted him to issue this tweet:

Trump has vacillated about the nuclear deal former President Obama and other Western nations made with Iran, but recently his rhetoric has indicated he might shelve the deal, as he called the Iran nuclear deal an “embarrassment” to the United States when he spoke at the U.N. He stated, “We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles, and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program.”

Still, Trump would not commit as to whether he would terminate the deal. The day after Trump spoke at the U.N., Iranian President Hassan Rouhani protested that Iran’s missile program was “solely defensive … We never threaten anyone, but we do not tolerate threats from anyone.”

Although Trump acted precipitously when he tweeted regarding the video, there is real danger from Iran; Iran’s new medium-range missile has a maximum range of nearly 2,500 miles, which could endanger U.S. forces in the Middle East and the nation of Israel. Iran has been accused of lying about the range of the missiles, claiming they have less reach than they actually do. Iran has conducted more than 20 missile tests since 2015. The Center for Strategic and International Studies stated that Iran is “supplying proxies such as Hezbollah and Syria’s al-Assad regime with a steady supply of missiles and rockets” and “likely supplying Houthi rebel groups with short-range missiles in the ongoing conflict in Yemen.”

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