Bid by ‘enemies’ to sabotage missiles foiled: Iran Guards

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TEHRAN: The Revolutionary Guards on Sunday accused “enemies” of Iran of trying to sabotage the country’s missiles so that they would “explode mid-air” but said the bid was foiled.

“They tried as best as they could to sabotage a small part which we import so that our missiles would not reach their target and explode mid-air,” Fars news agency reported, quoting the Guards’ aerospace commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh.

“But they couldn’t do a damn thing because we had seen this coming from the start and had reinforced this sector,” he added, accusing Iran’s “enemies” of sabotage without naming any specific country.

Iran reined in most of its nuclear programme under a landmark 2015 deal with major powers in return for sanctions relief, but has continued to develop its ballistic missile technology.

Earlier this month the New York Times reported that the US administration of President Donald Trump was pushing a secret programme aimed at sabotaging Iranian rockets and missiles.

It said Washington was trying to “slip faulty parts and materials into Iran’s aerospace supply chains” as part of a campaign to undercut Tehran’s military.

In May, Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, and reimposed sanctions on Tehran

UN Security Council Resolution 2231 — adopted just after the nuclear deal — calls on Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons”.

Tehran insists that its missile programme is “purely defensive” and compliant with the resolution but it has developed medium-range ballistic missiles capable of reaching Israel.

Hajizadeh, whose remarks were also reported by Tasnim news agency, said similar sabotage attempts had happened before and targeted Iran’s nuclear and oil sectors.

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