Iranian state television broadcast unprecedented footage on Wednesday of a huge underground tunnel packed with missiles and launcher units, which officials said could be used if “enemies make a mistake”.
The tunnel, hundreds of metres long and about 10 metres high, was filled with missiles and hardware.
The pictures were released just three days after Iran tested a new long-range missile capable of hitting Israel, and which the US said may have breached a UN Security Council resolution. The footage also came a day after Iran’s parliament approved July’s nuclear deal P5+1 world powers.
Iranian officials have said the nuclear agreement will not affect its military forces and its ballistic missile programme.
Commander of the Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace division, General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, said numerous such tunnels existed across the country at a depth of 500 metres: “The Islamic republic’s long-range missile bases are stationed and ready under the high mountains in all the country’s provinces and cities”.
The commander added that the missiles were ready to be launched from all over Iran, on the order of “the supreme commander-in-chief”, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Hajizadeh continued: “This is a sample of our massive missile bases…a new and advanced generation of long-range liquid- and solid-fuel missiles” would start to replace existing weapons next year.
The commander warned that despite the nuclear deal, Iran would not rule out acting militarily against Western “enemies”: “Those who pin hope on options on the table, should only have a look at the Islamic republic’s army options under the table”. He threatened: “If enemies make a mistake, missile bases will erupt like a volcano from the depth of earth”.
Under a UN Security Council resolution passed days after the P5+1 nuclear deal was reached in July, Iran was barred by the Security Council from developing missiles “designed to carry nuclear warheads”.
Click here to watch video footage of the Iranian TV broadcast.