Iran reports opening of new missile base on Arabian Gulf

Revolutionary Guard chief says base is one of a string of missile launch sites

This handout photo provided by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) official website via SEPAH News on January 2, 2021, shows Guards' chief Major General Hossein Salami (R), accompanied by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps navy commander Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, speaking to journalists during his visit to the island of Abu Musa, off the coast of the southern Iranian city of Bandar Lengeh facing the United Arab Emirates.  Salami vowed today to respond to any "action the enemy takes" in a visit to the strategic island in the Gulf, amid rising tensions with the US,  speaking on the eve of the first anniversary of the US killing of top Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani in a Baghdad drone strike on January 3, 2020 - XGTY / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / Iran's Revolutionary Guard via SEPAH NEWS" - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

 / AFP / SEPAH NEWS / - / XGTY / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / Iran's Revolutionary Guard via SEPAH NEWS" - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Iran's Revolutionary Guard announced the opening of a new missile base along the Arabian Gulf on Friday, state media reported.

"These missiles have ranges of hundreds of kilometres, enjoy pinpoint accuracy and huge destructive power, and can overcome the enemy’s electronic warfare equipment," the Irib TV channel's website quoted Revolutionary Guard commander Hossein Salami as saying during its opening.

Last year, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said Iran had built underground “missile cities” along the Gulf coastline, warning of a “nightmare for Iran’s enemies”.

According to Gen Salami, the base opened on Friday is one of a string of missile launch sites operated by the IRGC navy.

The announcement, which could not be independently verified, came on the anniversary of the shooting down of a Ukrainian Airlines passenger jet that killed all 176 aboard shortly after taking off from Tehran. Iran admitted firing a missile at the plane only several days later.

The jet was shot down amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington following the killing of top Revolutionary Guard general Qassem Suleimani in a US drone strike in Baghdad days earlier January 3, and hours after Iran retaliated by launching missiles at US troop positions inside Iraq.

Gen Salami and other Iranian commanders and leaders repeatedly the US warned of further retaliation in the run-up to the first anniversary of Suleimani's assassination on January 3.

The reported opening of the new missile base came a day after Gen Salami "warned the enemies of Iran against making the slightest mistake" in the Arabian Gulf region, according to Iran's Fars news agency.

"The enemy should be careful about its miscalculations in the region," Fars quoted him as saying.

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