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Iran to design, mass produce host of UAVs

18 December 2012 20:37

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi says the country is planning the design and mass production of a wide range of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

“We will use every opportunity to design all kinds of drones,” the Iranian defense minister said on Tuesday.

Vahidi said the Iranian Defense Ministry is duty bound to produce “various drones in every shape and with every technology,” adding, “The ministry will definitely mass produce a host of UAVs.”

On Monday, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy Rear-Admiral Ali Fadavi said Iran had launched the production line for ScanEagle drones.

Fadavi had announced on December 4 that a US ScanEagle drone had been captured by Iranian forces upon the aircraft’s intrusion into the Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf.

In September, Iran unveiled a new indigenous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Shahed 129, with 24-hour nonstop flight capability.

Iran’s first indigenous long-range drone, Karrar, was unveiled in August 2010. The aircraft is capable of carrying a military payload of rockets to carry out bombing missions against ground targets, flying long distances at a very high speed, and gathering information.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Vahidi referred to the unrest in Syria and noted that the key role that Damascus plays in the anti-Israeli resistance front makes Tel Aviv a beneficiary of any instability in the Arab country.

“The developments in Syria only serve the interests of the Zionist regime (Israel),” the Iranian minister said.

He added that Tel Aviv had caused many problems for the Syrians and is now watching on as a crisis unravels in the Arab country.

Terrorists have held the Syrian people hostage in the Arab country and are “annihilating them in the worst possible manner,” the Iranian minister said.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.

The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.

Vahidi further expressed Iran’s opposition to the deployment of NATO Patriot missiles along the Turkish border with Syria, adding that the presence of foreign forces in the region “does not serve the interests of Muslim nations.”

“Westerners have always shown that they do not mean to serve the interests of Muslim nations, but only seek to provide for their own interests.”

Despite strong opposition from Russia, Syria and Iran, the NATO military alliance on Tuesday, December 4, 2012, approved Turkey’s request for the deployment of Patriot surface-to-air missiles along its border with Syria.

The decision followed Ankara’s formal request to NATO on November 21 to deploy the Patriot missiles on its border with Syria.

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