World War 3 fears as Iran uses first military satellite to photograph US base in Qatar

According to state media, Press TV, Irans Nour-1 satellite took photos of the Al Udeid air base in Qatar. The satellite is operated by the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

The air base hosts the headquarters of US Central Command and the headquarters of the US Air Forces Central Command.

Press TV claims to have covered the “full expanse” of the base and said it hosts up to 13,000 “terrorist troops”.

Tehran has classified all US forces as terrorists in retaliation for the Trump administration dubbing the IRGC a terrorist organisation last year.

The images were reportedly taken while Nour-1 was being used to monitor large-scale military exercises in the Strait of Hormuz this week.

Tensions between US and Iran intensified

Tensions between US and Iran intensified (Image: Getty)

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Image: Getty)

The military drills incorporated an attack on a replica US aircraft carrier in the water which carries around 30 percent of the world’s oil transit.

These missile launches prompted a high alert for Washington as tensions between the nations increase.

Commander Rebecca Rebarich, a spokesperson for the US Navy’s 5th Fleet based in Bahrain, said: “This exercise has not disrupted coalition operations in the area nor had any impacts to the free flow of commerce in the Strait of Hormuz and surrounding waters.”

Nour-1 was launched in April and caused protests from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

READ MORE: Iran’s Khamenei slams European powers in scathing attack

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Image: Getty)

Mr Pompeo said the satellite is part of Tehran’s ballistic missile program.

Following the satellite launch, Mr Pompeo said it “makes clear what we have said all along: Iran’s space program is neither peaceful nor entirely civilian.”

He continued: “This satellite launch vehicle and others launched before it incorporate technologies identical to, and interchangeable with, ballistic missiles, including longer-range systems such as intercontinental ballistic missiles.

“No country has ever pursued an ICBM capability except for the purpose of delivering nuclear weapons.”

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Largest militaries in the world

Largest militaries in the world (Image: Express)

The relationship between Iran and the US became strained this year after US forces killed Iranian major general Qassem Soleimani during a missile strike in Iraq.

General Soleimani was travelling through Baghdad when his convoy was struck by three US missiles.

Tehran retaliated by launching a series of ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing US troops.

US President Donald Trump and his administration have been looking to extend the United Nations’ arms embargo against Tehran.

Iranian major general Qassem Soleimani

Iranian major general Qassem Soleimani (Image: Getty)

The nuclear deal had restricted Iran’s nuclear weapons capability in return for sanctions relief.

However, Mr Trump abandoned the deal in 2018 and has since imposed crippling sanctions of Iranian oil experts, which has destroyed the economy.

Earlier this month, the Washington dubbed Iran the “greatest threat” to peace.

The comment came after it was revealed Iran had underground cities armed with missiles along the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (Image: Getty)

A spokesperson for the Pentagon said this month: “Iran claims to want good relations with its neighbours, yet it continues to threaten them with even greater levels of violence.

“Iran is the greatest threat to peace and security in the Middle East.

“Statements like this demonstrate clearly that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its leaders are a destabilising force in the region.”