U.S. Accelerates Program Sabotaging Iran’s Missiles, Rockets: NYT

The Trump administration has placed renewed effort into a secret plan to cripple Iran’s missiles and rockets, according to a blockbuster Wednesday report from The New York Times. The plan, which reportedly began under then-President George W. Bush, involved inserting faulty parts into Iran’s aerospace supply chain. The program slowed some under Obama, the Times notes, but was injected with renewed resources by current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has a background in mechanical and aerospace engineering. Trump has long claimed that the nation’s aerospace program is a cover for nuclear missile testing. It’s impossible to determine exactly how successful the program or the recent ramp-up has been—launch failures could simply be a result of poor execution, or a lack of access to the best materials—but in recent months, Iran failed two major rocket tests. And in the past 11 years, 67 percent of the country’s orbital launches have failed—more than 13 times worse than the worldwide average.