Iran says it has built underground missile cities along Gulf coastline

Iran says it has built underground missile cities along Gulf coastline
Iran says it has built underground missile cities along Gulf coastline

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards Navy chief said on Sunday that Tehran had built underground "missile cities" along the Gulf coastline and warned of a "nightmare for Iran's enemies".

Iranian authorities have said such sites exist in all provinces of Iran but have unveiled only three bases so far and not disclosed that they have been built along its coast.

It comes after a nuclear official said that a fire at Iran's underground Natanz nuclear facility has caused significant damage, enough that it that could slow the development of advanced centrifuges used to enrich uranium.

Iran's top security body said on Friday that the cause of the fire that broke out on Thursday had been determined but would be announced later.

Some Iranian officials have said it may have been cyber sabotage and one warned that Tehran would retaliate against any country carrying out such attacks.

On Thursday, an article by Iran's state news agency IRNA addressed what it called the possibility of sabotage by enemies such as Israel and the United States, although it stopped short of accusing either directly.

Israel's defence minister said on Sunday it was not "necessarily" behind every mysterious incident in Iran.

"The incident could slow down the development and production of advanced centrifuges in the medium term ... Iran will replace the damaged building with a bigger one that has more advanced equipment," state news agency IRNA quoted the spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, Behrouz Kamalvandi, as saying.

"The incident has caused significant damage but there were no casualties."

Separately on Sunday, Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards Navy chief said Tehran had built underground "missile cities" along the Gulf coastline and warned of a "nightmare for Iran's enemies".

Iranian authorities have said such sites exist in all provinces of Iran but have unveiled only three bases so far and not disclosed that they have been built along its coast.

Natanz is the centrepiece of Iran's enrichment programme, which Tehran says is for peaceful purposes. Western intelligence agencies and the UN's nuclear watchdog (IAEA) believe it had a coordinated, clandestine nuclear arms programme that it halted in 2003. Tehran denies ever seeking nuclear weapons.

Iran agreed to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for the removal of most international sanctions in a deal reached between Tehran and six world powers in 2015.

But Iran has gradually reduced its commitments to the accord since US President Donald 's administration withdrew from the deal in 2018 and reimposed and intensified sanctions that have battered Iran's economy.

Updated: July 6, 2020 11:13 AM

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