Iran says it has built third underground missile factory

Iran has built a third underground plant to manufacture ballistic missiles, the head of its Revolutionary Guards aerospace division General Amir-Ali Hadjizadeh said on Thursday.

The announcement as US President Donald Trump makes a maiden foreign tour in which Saudi and Israeli concerns about Iran have loomed large is likely to stoke new tensions with Washington.

"Step by step, we are developing our defensive capability and I announce today that in recent years we have built a third underground factory for the manufacture of missiles," Iran's Fars news agency quoted Hadjizadeh as saying.

"We are going to develop our ballistic power. It's normal that our enemies, that is to say the United States and Israel, are angry when we show off our underground missile bases because they want the Iranian people to be in a position of weakness," he added.

In October 2015, state television aired footage for the first time of a base that Hadjizadeh said was 500 metres (1,600 feet) underground and stocked with a range of different missiles.

Armed forces spokesman General Masoud Jazayeri said earlier this month that Iran had a number of such underground silos which were an "important deterrent factor against the sworn enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran."

The United States says Iran's missile programme is a breach of international law because the missiles could carry nuclear warheads in the future.

Iran denies ever seeking nuclear weapons and says the missiles are designed to carry conventional warheads only and are a legitimate part of it defensive capabilities.

The Trump administration imposed fresh sanctions on Iran following a missile test in late January.

It added more last week at the same time as it renewed a waiver of sanctions related to Iran's nuclear programme.

In Saudi Arabia on Saturday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged newly re-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to end ballistic missile testing.

On Monday, Rouhani retorted that Iran did not need US permission to conduct missile tests and that they would continue "if technically necessary".

Iran has developed various designs of ballistic missiles, some with a range of 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) -- sufficient to reach both Israel and US bases in the region.

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Iran says it has built third underground missile factory Iran says it has built third underground missile factory Reviewed by Defense Alert on 05:31:00 Rating: 5

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