Shahin missile, Iran - AP 9.03.2011
The purported launching of a Shahin missile during war games in Iran in 2011. Photo by AP
Text size
related tags

Iran's defense minister says the country's missile development shows that UN sanctions are ineffective and won't hinder defense programs.

Gen. Ahmad Vahidi says Iran's missile program is "indigenous" and has no reliance on foreign countries.

Saturday's comments come amid ten days of war games, the country's latest show of military force amid a standoff with the West over its disputed nuclear program. Vahidi's statement was posted on the official website of the Revolutionary Guard, Iran's most powerful military force.

Iran on Monday unveiled underground silos that can carry missiles capable of hitting Israel and U.S. bases.

State TV broadcast footage of deep underground silos, claiming that medium- and long-range missiles stored in them are ready to launch in case of an attack on Iran. The silos are widely viewed as a strategic asset for Iran in the event of a U.S. or Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities.

An unidentified officer in Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard told state TV that "only few countries in the world possess the technology to construct underground missile silos. The technology required for that is no less complicated than building the missile itself."

Israel, which views Iran's as an existential threat, has accused Tehran of receiving assistance from North Korea in building underground missile sites.

But Col. Qelichkhani said the silos are based on local technology developed by Iranian experts.

Iran is under four sets of UN sanctions over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment. The U.S. and its allies accuse Iran of seeking to build a nuclear weapon, a claim Iran denies.