Iran intends to produce the powerful explosive Octogen for use in the warheads of its missiles to improve their “destructive and penetration power,” Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said Wednesday. Octogen is used as an explosive in penetrating missile warheads and as a solid rocket fuel — but is also employed as part of the detonator in an atomic bomb.

During a ceremony to inaugurate a Octogen production plant, Dehqan stressed Iran’s goal of gaining the know-how to make the explosive material in order to avoid relying on external sources.

“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 said, according to a report from the semi-official FARS news agency. FULL REPORT