Amid rising tensions with the US, Iran has released a video showcasing an underground bunker packed with the weapons and parts that appear to belong to the Qiam-1 ballistic missile system. Although the footage was first reportedly shown by Iranian state television last week, it started making rounds on the Internet only on Friday, first popping up on YouTube.
The video opens with the view of the entrance to the cavernous old-school base made of reinforced concrete and sitting deep under the crust of the Earth, with huge posters sporting the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani hanging to the right and to the left of the solid metal entrance door.
The camera then focuses on the military uniform-clad staffers assembling the Qiam-1, which has a stated range of 750 km (about 470 miles), in the launch room of the facility, which seems to be borrowed from a Bond film. Once fitted together, the missile is seen being launched from the base and soaring into the sky.
Back in February, Iran released rare footage of its missile factory, part of a whole “underground city.” It is not immediately clear whether the fresh video was shot at the same location or somewhere else.
Addressing the festering issue in Iran-US ties on Thursday and his country’s military capabilities, Khamenei, warned that negotiating the military aspect with the US would bring nothing but harm.
Meanwhile, US President Trump arrived Friday in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to discuss the Iranian threat.
There have been several recent exchanges of threats between the two countries, with the US accusing Iran of masterminding a series of incidents including alleged sabotage of oil tankers off the United Arab Emirates’ coast. Iran countered announcing that it is beefing up its production capacity of low-enriched uranium.
The Islamic Republic also gave Europe and China a 7 July deadline to work out new terms for a nuclear deal, arguing that if there is no revision to the nuclear deal, it will enrich uranium at even higher levels, which will bring it closer to obtaining weapons-grade material.
Separately, earlier this month, the US introduced more anti-Iranian sanctions and sent its USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group, a squadron of B-52 bombers, and Patriot interceptors to the Gulf to grapple with what Washington branded as a threat arising from Iran.
In addition, Trump confirmed that the Pentagon would deploy an additional 1,500 troops to the region.
The Trump administration has increased pressure on Tehran since pulling out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, last May and reinstating all sanctions against the Islamic Republic, for fear that the country may pose a nuclear threat in the region. Israel has also been central to the spat, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, an ardent critic of the deal, boasting in July 2018 that Israel was responsible for US President Donald Trump’s decision to quit the Iran nuclear deal.