Iran Unveils Underground Silos With Missiles Capable Of Reaching Israel

A spokesman for Iran’s war games says the missiles are in permanently vertical position and ready to hit pre-determined targets; the Shahab-3 missiles put Israel, U.S. bases in Gulf, and southeastern Europe within reach.

By The Associated Press and Amos Harel

Iran on Monday unveiled underground silos that can carry missiles capable of hitting Israel and U.S. bases in the Gulf as it kicked off 10 days of war games, the country’s latest show of military force amid a standoff with the West over its disputed nuclear program.

State TV broadcast footage of deep underground silos, claiming that medium- and long-range missiles stored in them are ready to launch in case of an attack on Iran. The silos are widely viewed as a strategic asset for Iran in the event of a U.S. or Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities.

Col. Asghar Qelichkhani, a spokesman for the war games, said the silos “function as a swift-reaction unit.”

“Missiles, which are permanently in the vertical position, are ready to hit the pre-determined targets,” he was quoted as saying by state TV.

An officer in Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, which is in charge of the missile program, said Tehran has constructed “numerous” underground missile silos which satellites can’t detect. He did not elaborate.

The state television report broadcast footage of underground launching pads for the Shahab-3 missile, which have a range of more than 1,240 miles, putting Israel and U.S. -bases in the Gulf region and parts of southeastern and eastern Europe within reach.

Shahin missile, Iran - AP 9.03.2011 The purported launching of a Shahin missile during war games in Iran.
Photo by: AP

The report also showed pictures of missiles being fired from one silo after a large metal roof opened to allow the missile to launch. The TV report said the missile silos are linked to a missile control center.

The commander of the Guard’s Aerospace Force, Amir Ali Hajizadeh, touted the silos as a crucial asset in its standoff with the West, saying that with “these facilities we are certain that we can confront unequal enemies and defend the Islamic Republic of Iran.”


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