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Iran Building New Missile Base Near Persian Gulf, Satellite Imagery Shows

Iran has been building a new missile base near Haji Abad in the southern Hormozgan province on the Persian Gulf, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) has revealed based on open-source satellite imagery.

The suspected development of the new missile is possibly "the first hardened launch site intended specifically for solid-fuel ballistic missiles," Research Associate for Defense and Military Analysis Joseph Dempsey said in an article published on May 4 on the IISS website.

Iran has in the past few years, including March 15, 2020, has periodically unveiled several underground "missile cities" without disclosing their locations. According to Sepah News, the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) news agency, the site launched on March 15 by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) in an official ceremony attended by Commander-in-Chief Hossein Salami housed a range of ballistic and cruise missiles.

On July 29, 2020, the Guards said they had successfully launched ballistic missiles from the depths of underground facilities during a military exercise. The missile was not named but according to Dempsey its size and configuration suggested Zolfaghar or Dezful missiles.

An underground 'missile city' in an unknown location in Iran. FILE

Later, in January 2021, the Guards unveiled another missile base on the anniversary of the Iranian missile attack on United States bases in Iraq at another ceremony attended by Salami. Reporters were not present at either of the ceremonies, but photos were provided to the press by Sepah News. According to the news agency, this new underground "missile city", which Salami said was "several kilometers long", was located along the Persian Gulf.

According to Dempsey, the underground complexes showcased by Iran until now have not included the Haji Abad structures which his analysis suggests can be used for Fateh, Zolfaghar, Dezful – or less likely, Shahid Haj Qasem named after Qasem Soleimani. Fateh has a range of 500 km, Zolfaghar 700 km and Dezful can be deployed against targets at a distance of 1,000 km and may potentially reach Riyadh.

Iran’s first underground missile site was unveiled in October 15, 2015, a few days after the announcement of the testing of new-generation Emad missiles. In the unveiling ceremony, the Guards’ Aerospace Commander Brigadier-General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh claimed that underground missile bases were scattered throughout the country at a depth of 500 meters.

A British-Iranian journalist, political analyst and former correspondent of The National and journalist at Iran International
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