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Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Navy commander Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri told Iranian magazine Sobh-e Sadeq there were “underground cities” armed with missiles along the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Admiral Tangsiri said the weapons were a “nightmare” for Iran’s foes.
The forces are reportedly in possession of advanced, long-range missiles with newer weapons on the way.
Reports of the new armed underground cities raised alarms in the Pentagon, who criticised Tangsiri’s remarks.
A spokesperson told Newsweek: “Iran claims to want good relations with its neighbours, yet it continues to threaten them with even greater levels of violence.
“Iran is the greatest threat to peace and security in the Middle East.
“Statements like this demonstrate clearly that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its leaders are a destabilising force in the region.”
Over recent years, Iran has shown off a series of underground tunnels and command centres across the country.
These tunnels are home to the largest and most advanced missile program in the Middle East.
Despite some analysts trying to pinpoint the facilities, Admiral Tangsiri said Iran’s foes had “inaccurate information”.
Tensions between the US and Iran have intensified over recent months.
The two countries were on the brink of war back in January after US forces killed Iranian major general Qassem Soleimani during a missile strike in Iraq.
General Soleimani was travelling through Baghdad when his convoy was struck by three US missiles.
Just days after the attack, Tehran retaliated and launched a series of ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing US troops.
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Although tensions have ignited between the countries, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he regretted the ongoing disputes between Tehran and Washington.
He told the Institute for International Political Studies: “I believe the greatest sadness of my career is that I haven’t been able to get through to our neighbours that we need to live together, that we cannot live without each other, that we will be neighbours forever and we have to find a way to live together and not rely on outsiders for our security.”
Washington has been seeking an extension of a United Nations (UN) arms embargo against Tehran, under the Trump administration.
This is set to expire in October under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal which the US withdrew from.
The nuclear deal had restricted Iran’s nuclear weapons capability in return for sanctions relief.
However, Mr Trump abandoned the agreement in 2018 and has gone on to introduce a number of sanctions on Iranian oil exports.
These sanctions have crippled the economy.
US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook, called on the UN embargo to be extended indefinitely.
Speaking at a virtual event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations last month, he said: “We think the right policy is to have an arms embargo in place that doesn’t have a definite date fixed.”
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