(JTA) — Iran has tripled its production of missiles, a senior Revolutionary Guard commander said, according to the Fars news service.
The commander did not explain during what time period the production increase had taken place, Reuters reported.
“In the past we had to do a lot of explaining to various bodies for our actions, but it’s not like that anymore,” Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Guard’s aerospace division, said Wednesday, according to Fars, the semi-official news agency of the Iranian government.
“Our production has increased three-fold compared to the past,” he said, referring to missiles.
The government, parliament and other Iranian officials had agreed specifically on the need for ground-to-ground missiles, Hajizadeh said. Fars gave no further details.
France’s foreign minister visited Iran on Monday on a mission to reaffirm European support for the 2015 nuclear deal that opened Iran’s economy while echoing U.S. concerns about its missile program and role in regional conflicts.
Jean-Yves Le Drian’s visit reflected French efforts to safeguard the accord between Iran and six world power led by the United States. President Donald Trump has threatened to pull out of the deal pushed by his predecessor, Barack Obama, unless three European signatories help “fix” it by forcing Iran to limit its sway in the Middle East and rein in its missile program.
Senior Iranian officials told Le Drian on Monday that Iran’s ballistic missile program was not up for negotiation, according to Reuters.
The deal offers Iran sanctions relief in exchange for its dialing back of parts of its nuclear program for a period of 10 years. Israel opposes the deal, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says “paves Iran’s path” to obtaining nuclear weapons.