The commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards', (IRGC), aerospace unit announced that a "third underground missile factory has been launched, and Iran is on its way to become a "ballistic power".
On Thursday, Fars new agency quoted Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of IRGC's aerospace force as saying, IRGC "will continue the expansion of its missile capability". He added that to reach its missile development goals, Iran does not care about "what American merchants say".
This can be in reference to the huge arms deal the U.S. reached with Saudi Arabia during President Donald Trump's trip to Riyadh this week.
The announcement about a new missile plant coincides with approval of legislation by a U.S. Senate committee on Thursday, that would authorize the Trump administration to put new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic-missile program, support for Islamist militant groups, and other actions.
Hajizadeh said that Iran's enemies want to stop Iran's missile program at a time when Iran has succeeded in launching its third missile factory. He did not elaborate any further but said that soon Iran will produce a ballistic ground-to-ground missile named Dezful and will exhibit it.
The IRGC official also claimed that in missile and drone technologies Iran has reached the level of developed countries.
This statement not only coincides with the Senate committee decision on sanctions, but also comes less than a week after President Hassan Rouhani's re-election. During the election campaign Rouhani complained that when his negotiating team was nearing an agreement in the nuclear negotiations, some elements were conducting missile tests.
Rouhani's campaign emphasized normalization of relations with the rest of the world, economic development and an end to heavy-handed repressive tactics at home.