Iranian press review: New IRGC underground drone base unveiled

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has unveiled an underground drone base, warning western powers that from it the IRGC can deploy 60 drones simultaneously to hit targets in the region.

On Saturday, the Fars news agency reported that IRGC commander-in-chief Major General Hossein Salami and the elite force’s aerospace commander General Amir Ali Hajizadeh were present at the inauguration ceremony of the IRGC’s first underground drone base.

“Our simultaneous shooting power has increased seven times, and the time needed to get ready for the shooting has dramatically decreased,” IRNA news agency quoted Hajizadeh as saying.

The IRGC-affiliated outlets did not publish any videos of the purported underground base. Iran’s elite force has previously released videos of its underground missile bases, dubbing them “underground missile cities”.

Meanwhile, the Iranian government’s official daily hinted that the timing of the underground base inauguration – held while nuclear talks continued in Vienna – was a warning to western powers.

According to the daily, the base indicated that Iran would not negotiate on its missile or drone programmes with world powers.

“This means that any agreement to remove the sanctions would not make Iran give up working on securing its needs for defending itself,” the daily wrote.

On Friday, world powers seemed to be edging closer to a deal with Iran that would revive the 2015 nuclear agreement.

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov created uncertainty on Saturday, saying Moscow wanted a written US guarantee that its trade, investment, and military-technical cooperation with Iran would not be hindered by western sanctions imposed since the invasion of Ukraine.

Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, said on Monday that Tehran would not allow “any foreign elements to undermine its national interests”, the Iranian semi-official news agency Tasnim reported, while the foreign ministry said it awaited an explanation from Russia.

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