Iranian ballistic missile
Iranian ballistic missileReuters

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on Sunday accused "enemies" of Iran of trying to sabotage the country's missiles so that they would "explode mid-air" but said the bid was foiled, AFP reports.

"They tried as best as they could to sabotage a small part which we import so that our missiles would not reach their target and explode mid-air," said the Guards' aerospace commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh.

"But they couldn't do a damn thing because we had seen this coming from the start and had reinforced this sector," he added, accusing Iran's "enemies" of sabotage without naming any specific country.

The comments follow a report in the New York Times earlier this month, according to which the Trump White House has accelerated a secret American program to sabotage Iran’s missiles and rockets.

The report said Washington was trying to "slip faulty parts and materials into Iran's aerospace supply chains" as part of a campaign to undercut Tehran's military.

US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May of 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.

One of the reasons cited for the withdrawal was the fact that the nuclear deal did not deal with Iran’s ballistic missile program, which remains a concern for the West.

Iran in the past month has twice attempted to launch a satellite into space without success.

The launches came despite a warning by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for Iran to cease its efforts to develop ballistic missiles. Pompeo demanded that Iran drop its plans for a space launch, saying such actions would defy UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

UN Security Council resolution 2231, which the US says Iran violates with its ballistic missile tests, enshrined Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

The resolution says Iran is “called upon” to refrain for up to eight years from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons.

Iran, however, denies its ballistic missile tests violate this resolution. President Hassan Rouhani has stressed in the past that Iran will continue to produce missiles for its defense and does not consider that a violation of international agreements.