On Thursday, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) announced it had established a new underground missile base on the shores of the Persian Gulf.
In video recorded by Iranian news media and released to the Russian government-backed Ruptly news agency, the IRGC’s Navy stood in a tunnel next to an array of missile trucks on display.
Ruptly reported the new base was established at an undisclosed location in the Hormozgan province on the Persian Gulf.
In remarks translated by Ruptly, IRGC Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami said, “What you see today in this complex is one of several strategic missile storage facilities of the IRGC Navy. Behind us, you see a column of these missiles and launchers. The columns go on for kilometres and there are many of these complexes in the IRCG’s naval force.”
Salami reportedly said the IRGC’s missile forces are staffed with talented young soldiers keeping the weapons at the read, and, “If there is a will in the demons and arrogance in our enemies, they would suffocate it.”
Salami also said the missiles contained in the new facility have the ability to fly hundreds of kilometers and “have the power to pass through the enemy’s electronic warfare equipment.”
Iran’s semi-official Fars News reported Salami also issued threats to Iran’s enemies, stating, “The enemy should be careful about its miscalculations in the region” and “sometimes the Iranian forces [will] hold military drills to help the enemy to make their calculations more precise and to avoid mistakes.”
A picture of IRGC Gen. Qassem Soleimani could also be seen in the background of Salami’s video announcement. The unveiling of the new missile base comes days after the one-year anniversary of the U.S. airstrike, ordered by President Donald Trump, that killed Soleimani as he drove from the Baghdad International Airport in Iraq on Jan 3, 2020.
Various Iranian officials have called for revenge on Trump and the U.S. in the days surrounding the anniversary of Soleimani’s death.
The U.S. has been bolstering its forces in the Middle East in recent weeks, including cancelling plans for the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) aircraft carrier to leave the region. The U.S. Navy also announced it sent a guided-missile submarine and two more guided-missile cruisers through the Strait of Hormuz, along Iran’s coast.
The U.S. Air Force has also flown nuclear-capable B-52 bombers directly to the Middle East to make a “deliberate appearance” amid reports indicating potential attacks in Iraq.
The Trump administration also reportedly withdrew some staff members at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad as part of a “de-risking” period around Soleimani’s death.