Iran building new submarine: Report

By Xinhua,

Tehran : Iran has started building a new submarine that is expected to give its navy larger capability, Press TV satellite channel has reported.

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Iranian Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar Sunday inaugurated the production line of the new submarine Qaaem, which is capable of carrying and firing various torpedoes and subsurface missiles with a special operation crew onboard, according to the report.

“The Islamic republic has become self-sufficient in manufacturing all types of military vessels,” Mohammad-Najjar was quoted as saying during the inauguration.

He noted that the development of new military equipment, such as the surface and subsurface missiles, would increase navy ability to defend Iranian territorial waters and prevent an attack against the country.

“Iran is the main force safeguarding peace and security in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman with its strong presence in the strategic region,” he added.

The launch of the submarine production line came amid reports that an armada of US and European warships will be deployed in the Gulf in an unprecedented build-up.

The United States and its allies have accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear programme. Iran has denied the allegation and insists that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.

The Bush administration said it focused on diplomacy to try to resolve Iran’s nuclear issue, but insisted it will take “no option off the table.”