AFP: The head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Sunday that an independent command could be created within in his force to strengthen the country's missile programme, the Fars news agency reported.
TEHRAN (AFP) — The head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Sunday that an independent command could be created within in his force to strengthen the country's missile programme, the Fars news agency reported.
"An independent command might be created in Sepah (Revolutionary Guards Corps) in order to fortify the structure and activities of the missile section," General Mohammad Ali Jafari was quoted as saying.
Such a measure would, he said, be subject to the approval of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
The Revolutionary Guards work in parallel with Iran's regular army but the force has its own land, sea, air and missile units.
Its missile capabilities have aroused the greatest international concern as the Shahab-3 longer range missile has put Israel and US bases in the Middle East within reach.
Iran's ballistic missile and nuclear programmes are under UN Security Council sanctions imposed over Tehran's refusal to suspend uranium enrichment work.
The West fears Iran could use the process, which makes nuclear fuel as well as the fissile core of an atom bomb, for weapons development.
Iran vehemently denies the allegation, insisting the nuclear programme is aimed at peaceful ends and energy production.
The United States has never ruled out a military option to thwart its nuclear drive, even though Washington says it favours resolving the standoff through diplomacy.
Tehran has said it will never initiate any attack but has also warned it will strike back with crushing force if the United States launches an assault.