Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps unveiled on Friday one of its “strategic missile bases” located on the “shores of the Persian Gulf,” according to the corps’ Sepahnews website.
Iranian state television showed underground tunnels and depots of missiles in the south of the country near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
“Our logic in defending the territorial integrity, the independence of the country, and the achievements of the Islamic Revolution is strengthening,” said the top commander of the IRGC Gen. Hossein Salami, according to Mehr News. “What you see today is one of several IRGC Naval Strategic Missile facilities.”
According to the report, Salami also said “the long-range missiles have pinpoint precision with high destructive power and they are capable of resisting against enemies’ electronic warfare equipment.”
The IRGC is designated a terrorist organization by the US.
Also on Friday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated Iran’s position that the missile program was developed to “defend” the country against any threats from outside.
The comments and unveiling appeared to be part of a series of moves this week aimed at increasing Iran’s leverage before Joe Biden becomes US president on January 20.
Biden has vowed to re-enter the nuclear agreement if Iran first returns to compliance with it. He has also expressed a desire to negotiate a “longer and stronger” follow-up agreement that would extend the time-limited provisions on the JCPOA, while also addressing Iran’s missile program and curbing the influence of Tehran’s regional proxies. Iran has rejected any such negotiations.
Iran resumed enriching uranium to 20 percent this week, well in excess of the threshold set out in its landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
In 2018, US President Donald Trump withdrew from the JCPOA and reinstated US sanctions that had been lifted against Iran, plunging it into recession.
The decision to enrich uranium to 20% — below the 90% required for an atomic bomb, but a relatively short technical step from that benchmark — was not initiated by President Hassan Rouhani’s relatively moderate-reformist government, but by parliament, which conservatives have dominated since last year.
After the assassination of top scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on November 27, which Tehran blamed on Israel, deputies approved a bill requiring Iran to resume uranium enrichment to 20% purity, as it had been doing before the JCPOA, and to stock 120 kilograms (265 pounds) of uranium each year.