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Iran Claims It Built Third Underground Missile Factory


FILE - A long-range S-200 missile is fired in a military drill in the port city of Bushehr, on the northern coast of Persian Gulf, Iran, Dec. 29, 2016.

Iran claims to have built a third underground ballistic missile production facility and says it will continue developing its missile program, a move that will surely increase tensions between the country and the United States.

Speaking with the semi-official Fars news agency Thursday, General Amir-Ali Hadjizadeh, the head of Iran’s aerospace program, said the facility had been completed in “recent years.”

"We are going to develop our ballistic power. It's normal that our enemies, that is to say the United States and Israel, are angry when we show off our underground missile bases because they want the Iranian people to be in a position of weakness," he said.

The announcement came as U.S. President Donald Trump wrapped up his first foreign trip to the Middle East, where he met with Israeli and Saudi leaders and called Iran a threat to countries across the region.

“From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms and trains terrorists, militias and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region,” Trump said during a speech Sunday in Riyadh.

Trump has spoken strongly against the Iranian missile program and imposed new sanctions on the country earlier this year, following a missile test in January.

Iran has developed several ballistic missile designs with the capability of travelling 2,000 kilometers, far enough to reach Israel and U.S. bases in the region.

The United States has said Iran’s ballistic missile program is in violation of an international law regarding missiles with the capability of carrying nuclear warheads.

Iran, though, denies it is seeking nuclear weapons and claims the missiles are designed only to carry conventional warheads.