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Iran’s Revolutionary Guard inaugurates new underground missile facility

Guard commander Gen. Hossein Salami says cruise and ballistic missiles stored at the site will empower force’s navy further

In this photo released Jan. 8, 2021, by Sepahnews, the website of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, commanders of Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard walk past missiles during a visit to a new military base in an undisclosed location in Persian Gulf in Iran. (Sepahnews via AP)
In this photo released Jan. 8, 2021, by Sepahnews, the website of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, commanders of Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard walk past missiles during a visit to a new military base in an undisclosed location in Persian Gulf in Iran. (Sepahnews via AP)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard on Monday inaugurated a new underground facility designated for missile storage, the country’s state TV reported.

The report quotes Guard commander Gen. Hossein Salami as saying that cruise and ballistic missiles will empower the force’s navy even more. The TV report showed footage of scores of missiles in an enclosed space resembling an underground corridor.

It did not say where the facility is located nor how many missiles are stored there.

Since 2011, Iran has boasted of underground facilities across the country as well as along the southern coast near the strategic Strait of Hormuz. Iran claims to have missiles that can travel 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles), placing much of the Middle East, including Israel, within range.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards commander Major General Hossein Salami speaks during a pro-government rally in the capital Tehran’s central Enghelab Square on November 25, 2019. (Atta Kenare/AFP)

Last July, the Guard launched underground ballistic missiles as part of an exercise involving a mock-up American aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz, highlighting its network of subterranean missile sites.

Iran has developed its homegrown ballistic missile program as a UN arms embargo prevents it from buying high-tech weapons systems.

The underground tunnels help protect those weapons, including liquid-fueled missiles that can only be fueled for short periods of time.

The US and its Western allies see Iran’s missile program as a threat, along with the country’s nuclear program — particularly after Tehran gradually breached its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, following the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the deal in 2018.

Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have long opposed the agreement and repeatedly warned against the US returning to the deal.

The announcement on the missile site came amid increased tensions between Tehran and Jerusalem, with the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman on Monday pointing the finger of blame toward Israel for a blast last week on an Iranian ship, saying they have the right to respond.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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