Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards’ airspace division, said:“They are within our reach and we can hit them if the Americans make a move,” according toTasnim news agency. Mr Hajizadeh said the Guards had improved the precision of their missiles, and warned they were capable of hitting the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, Al Dhafra base in the United Arab Emirates and Kandahar base in Afghanistan, which host US forces. Tensions between Washington and Tehran remain at an all-time high after US President Donald Trump pulled out of an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme in May and slapped sanctions on the Middle East country. The US leader said the deal was flawed because it did not include curbs on Iran’s development of ballistic missiles or its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.
However, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China all still back the accord which was hailed as a landmark deal at the time.
The Islamic Republic’s government has ruled out negotiations with Washington over its military capabilities, particularly its missile programme run by the Guards.
Iran, which says its missile programme is purely defensive, has threatened to disrupt oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf if the United States tries to strangle Iranian oil exports.
In October, the Revolutionary Guards fired missiles at Islamic State militants in Syria after the Islamist group took responsibility for an attack at a military parade in Iran that killed 25 people, nearly half of them members of the Guards.
President Trump has contunued to slap Iran with tough economic sanctions aimed at further undermining the Islamic fundamentalist republic.
Measures target cars, gold and other metals trading, as well as the government’s ability to buy US dollars.
Washington also also re-imposed sanctions on the Middle East nation’s purchases of US dollars, its trade in gold and precious metals, and its dealings with metals, coal and industrial-related software.
Iran is said to be turning to precious metals such as gold and copper in a bid to reinvigorate its economy as crushing US sanctions bite the beleaguered Middle Eastern nation.
Tehran boasts roughly seven percent of the world’s entire mineral resources, including 10 percent of oil and 16 percent of natural gas reserves, according to the Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs.
Despite opposition from European allies, Mr Trump in May pulled the US out of a 2015 deal between world powers and Tehran under, which international sanctions were lifted in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme.
The Republican firebrand leader had denounced the deal reached under his White House predecessor, Barack Obama, as one-sided in Iran’s favour.