The United States will launch a new satellite designed to monitor Iran’s ballistic missile program, the State Department announced Wednesday.
The launch, the second this year, comes as the Trump administration continues to grapple with Iran’s nuclear program and is trying to strike a balance with Iran in Syria, where the Trump Administration is also pushing to get a cease-fire in place.
“This mission is a first step toward making the United States a true global player in the fight against Iran’s missile and nuclear programs,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
“It is an example of the United State’s longstanding commitment to protecting and advancing the security of our allies and partners in the region.”
The launch is scheduled for Wednesday, and the mission will be led by Roberta Jacobson, who heads the State and Defense departments intelligence and security agencies.
It will be the first time the US has launched a satellite to track Iran since 2010.
In a statement, Jacobson said the satellite will provide “unique and valuable insight into Iran’s long-range ballistic missile activities” and will help ensure the safety of American and partner nations and international partners.
“As Secretary of State, I’ve been committed to protecting the security and interests of the American people and the allies who live with us, and I look forward to working with the new secretary of state to advance the Trump agenda to achieve that goal,” Jacobson added.
Nauert said the mission “will not affect the US government’s ability to provide intelligence on Iran’s activities and capabilities.”
Iran, a U.S. ally in the Middle East, has conducted two nuclear tests since Trump took office in January.