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April 8, 2016 3:08 pm

Iran Strengthening Precision and Destructiveness of Warheads With New Octogen Explosives Plant

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Iran's defense minister, Brigadier general Hossein Dehghan, announced a new government plan that will boost the precision and destructiveness of Iran's missile program. Photo: Mohammad Hasanzadeh/Wikimedia Commons.

Iran’s defense minister, Brigadier general Hossein Dehghan, announced a new government plan that will boost the precision and destructiveness of Iran’s missile program. Photo: Mohammad Hasanzadeh/Wikimedia Commons.

Iran’s Defense Ministry announced a new initiative on Wednesday that will supposedly increase the penetration, destructiveness and precision of its missile payloads, the country’s semi-official state news agency Fars reported. 

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan revealed the plans during a speech at a ceremony inaugurating a new Octogen (HMX) explosives production plant in Tehran. “Concurrently with its efforts to increase the precision-striking power of its weapons systems, the defense ministry has also paid attention to boosting the destructive and penetration power of different weapons’ warheads and has put on its agenda the acquisition of the technical know-how to produce Octogen explosive materials and Octogen-based weapons,” he was quoted as saying by Fars.

HMX, the report notes, “is used exclusively for military purposes to implode fissionable…as a component of rocket propellant, and as a high explosive buster charge.” Because of its high molecular weight, it is one of the most potent chemical explosives manufactured. It is mainly utilized in different missiles and weaponry to enhance efficiency and effectiveness. 

The inauguration of the HMX plant is part of the Iranian regime’s plans to boost it’s military’s power as it continues full pace its efforts to achieve dominance in the region and beyond. On March 20, according to Fars, Dehqan told a gathering of defense officials in honor of the Iranian New Year, “We should strengthen ourselves to the level that we can prevent failure and acquire victory over our enemies.”

Dehqan added, “We should endeavor to reinvigorate our infrastructures in the defense industries, reduce dependence and use domestic industries.”

Earlier that same day, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said in a public message in honor of the Iranian New Year: “The main issue is that the Iranian nation should be able to do something to bring its vulnerabilities to zero point, and we should have the art of using opportunities and turning threats into opportunities…Therefore, what I choose as the slogan of this year is ‘the resistance economy; action and implementation’.”

On Tuesday, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, revealed similar plans while addressing a gathering of IRGC commanders in Tehran. “For years, we have been building power on the presumption of a widespread war with the US and its allies, and have developed all our capacities and capabilities for decisive victories over such enemies,” he was quoted as saying by the regime-aligned Tasnim News Agency.

Jafari added that “before political and diplomatic options, we have gotten prepared for a military option.” He stressed the IRGC’s commitment to bolster its weapons program and, should a military confrontation between Iran and the US come to pass, the US would be unable “to do a damn thing.”

These latest moves towards military expansion come just days after a ballistic missile test that prompted President Obama to accuse Iran of violating the “spirit” of the nuclear deal reached with world powers last July in an effort to curb the country’s nuclear program. 

Many in the US as well as the leadership of the Gulf states and Israel have harshly criticized the agreement, as well as voiced suspicions regarding Iran’s ambitions in the region and around the world. Israel views the Islamic Republic as presenting an existential threat to its security, and Iran frequently threatens to attack the Jewish state. Chants of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” are often heard at public, government-backed rallies in the country.

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