Just when one thinks things could no longer – "uncommonly" – in the White House, the President tweeted an American spy satellite image as part of a juvenile offensive against the Iranian leadership. After some back and forth, the astronomers were able to find out from which satellite he came: from a (formerly) top-secret satellite called the USA 224, an optical reconnaissance satellite.
Trump's Tweet unknowingly revealed some of the capabilities of American satellite imagery. The US 224 has been kept top secret for national security reasons, so the intelligence community is unlikely to be pleased. Why should you reveal to your opponents, including Iran itself, your ability to collect information? The combination of orientation and time can be used to determine which satellite and which details of the imaging system are being used. Good job of revealing NTM sources and methods.
Some people immediately criticized the president's tweet.
Iran and the US have a fragile relationship that goes back decades. The US accuses Iran of developing nuclear weapons and promoting terrorism. Iran accuses the US of promoting terrorism by providing Israel with high-tech weapons worth billions of dollars.
The situation calmed down when Iran signed an agreement under Obama to limit its nuclear technologies in order to facilitate economic sanctions. In his election, Trump scrapped this deal. Since then, relations between the US and Iran have warmed up again.
Iran has been developing take-off capabilities for years. They tested rockets in their Imam Khomeini Spaceport in northern Iran. At the end of August, a start attempt on the pad failed. Unclassified satellite images showed a cloud of smoke rising from the system, and not much else.
But Trump loves to bring in his thrusts. Therefore, he tweeted the following:
It seems that Trump was educated with an imprint of this classified image and that he recorded it took a picture with his cell phone and tweeted it. You can see the camera flash in the middle of the picture. Immediately, people were worried that he had uncovered US surveillance capabilities.