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Satellite imagery shows Iran expanding its ballistic missile facilities – Times of India

WorldSatellite imagery shows Iran expanding its ballistic missile facilities - Times of India

Iran is expanding its ballistic missile facilities, according to the recent satellite imagery which two American researchers believe are intended to increase missile production. This conclusion has been confirmed by three senior Iranian officials.
The image captured by commercial satellite firm Planet Labs of the Modarres military base in March and the Khojir missile production complex in April.The images show more than 30 new buildings at the two sites, both of which are located near Tehran, reported Reuters.
Many of the structures are surrounded by large dirt berms, which are associated with missile production and designed to prevent a blast in one building from detonating highly combustible materials in nearby structures, according to Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
The expansion at Khojir started in August last year while the other one started in October.
This development came after the October 2022 agreement in which Iran agreed to supply missiles to Russia for its war against Ukraine, which is still going on. Iran has provided Russia with a large number of powerful surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, six sources told Reuters, deepening the military cooperation between the two US-sanctioned countries.
Iran’s provision of around 400 missiles includes many from the Fateh-110 family of short-range ballistic weapons, such as the Zolfaghar, three Iranian sources said.
According to the US officials, Iran also supplied missiles to Yemen’s Houthi rebels and the Lebanese Hezbollah, both members of the Iran-backed Axis of Resistance against Israel.
Three Iranian officials confirmed that Modarres and Khojir are being expanded to boost production of conventional ballistic missiles. One official stated, “Why shouldn’t we?”
A second Iranian official said some of the new buildings would also allow a doubling of drone manufacturing, with drones and missile components being sold to Russia, drones provided to the Houthis, and missiles to Hezbollah.
Iran’s ballistic missile facilities expansion concerns US
Any increase in Tehran’s missile or drone production would be concerning to the United States and Israel, as Iranian drones help sustain Russia’s assault on Ukrainian cities and Iran-backed groups, including Hezbollah, continue to pose a threat to Israel.
The complexes, Shahid Modarres and Khojir, are overseen by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and have long been associated with the development and production of Iran’s short- and medium-range ballistic missiles and rockets for the country’s space program.
Earlier when Iran reportedly was expanding its nuclear programme, the US vowed “to use all means necessary to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran” in a UN Security Council meeting.
The US, France, Britain and Germany accused Iran of escalating its nuclear activities far beyond limits it agreed to in a 2015 deal aimed at preventing Tehran from developing nuclear weapons, and of failing to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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