Iran has completed work on its third underground missile factory
The shocking report came from the semi-official Fars news agency who quoted a senior commander of the elite Revolutionary Guard.
The development is likely to fuel tensions with the United States in a week when President Donald Trump, on his first foreign trip, has called Iran a sponsor of militant groups and a threat to countries across the Middle East.
Fars quoted Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Guard's airspace division, as saying: ”Iran's third underground factory has been built by the Guards in recent years… We will continue to further develop our missile capabilities forcefully.”
Since taking office in January, Mr Trump has imposed new sanctions on Iran in response to its recent missile launches, putting Tehran "on notice".
Iran has reacted defiantly. Newly re-elected pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday: "Iran does not need the permission of the United States to conduct missile tests".
Iran does not need the permission of the United States to conduct missile tests
President Hassan Rouhani
Iran's Sunni Muslim Gulf neighbours and its arch-enemy Israel have expressed concerns over Tehran's ballistic missile programme, seeing it as a threat to regional security.
In 2015, Iranian state TV aired footage of underground tunnels with ready-to-fire missiles on the back of trucks, saying the facility was one of hundreds of underground missile bases around the country.
Islamic Revolution: Shocking moments depict the horrors of the events
Fri, February 10, 2017
The event marks the 38th anniversary of the Islamic revolution, which came ten days after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's return from his exile in Paris to Iran, toppling the monarchy system and forming the Islamic republic.
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Demonstrators loot government bureaus and banks as well as liquor shops, cabarets and cinemas during the Revolution in Tehran, 4th November 1978
A senior military commander also confirmed the state will continue developing its missile programme
"It is natural that our enemies America and the Zionist regime (Israel) are angry with our missile programme because they want Iran to be in a weak position," Hajizadeh said.
Most nuclear-related sanctions on Iran were lifted last year after Tehran fulfilled commitments under a 2015 deal with major powers to scale back its nuclear programme – an agreement that Mr Trump has frequently criticised as being too soft on Tehran. But Iranremains subject to a U.N. arms embargo and other restrictions.
Donald Trump heightened tensions by claiming Iran was a threat to countries in the Middle East
Two months after implementation of the deal, the Guards test-fired two ballistic missiles that it said were designed to be able to hit Israel.
Iran says its missile programe is not in defiance with a U.N. resolution that calls on it to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons for up to eight years.
"Along with improving our defence capabilities, we will continue our missile tests and missile production. The next missile to be produced is a surface-to-surface missile," said Hajizadeh, without elaborating.
In retaliation for the new U.S. sanctions over its ballistic missile programme, Iran this month added nine American individuals and companies to its own list of 15 U.S. companies for alleged human rights violations and cooperation with Israel.