Iran Reportedly Opens Drone Factory in Tajikistan

The manufacturing site, located in Tajikistan's capital, will oversee the production of the Iranian drone Ababil 2, Iran state media says

In this photo released in May, 2021, by Sepahnews, the website of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, a new Gaza drone is displayed in an undisclosed location in Iran.
In this photo released in May, 2021, by Sepahnews, the website of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, a new Gaza drone is displayed in an undisclosed location in Iran.Credit: AP

Iran has inaugurated a factory for manufacturing a new military drone in Tajikistan's capital, Iranian state media reported Tuesday.

Iran's opened a drone factory in Tajikistan to manufacture Ababil-2, according to Iranian mediaCredit: Journalist Kian Sharifi Twitter account

According to a report by Tehran Times, the manufacturing site, located in Dushanbe, was opened as part of an agreement to increase cooperation between the two countries. The site will oversee the production of Ababil 2, a drone developed by Iran. Iranian General Mohammad Bagheri and Tajiki Defense Minister Sherali Mirzo took part in the inauguration ceremony.

The report said the drone is dubbed the Ababil-2 after a bird in the Quran. It is capable of carrying out attacks as well as surveillance missions from a range of 200 kilometers (124 miles) with 1 1/2 hours of flight time, the report said. It did not reveal other details such as the capacity of the production line.

In the ceremony, Bagheri said, according to Tehran times, that Iran has achieved substantial progress in its military development, including defense systems and drones. Bagheri also said Iran can now export military equipment to allies and friends and called the opening of the plant a turning point in relations with Tajikistan.

The two countries are expecting to “see more cooperation and interaction at all military defense levels between Iran and Tajikistan," Iranian media reported.

The two military leaders emphasized the need for “cooperation in the fight against terrorism” and holding joint military exercises. Mirzo said he welcomed Iran’s plans for cooperation in the “fight against terrorism, organized crimes and drug trafficking,” as well as in upgrading Tajikistan’s military equipment.

The announcement marks first time that Iran has launched a military production line abroad.

Earlier on Tuesday, Israel's defense minister, Benny Gantz, warned that Tehran has doubled its stores of 60 percent enriched uranium over the past two months, and that the country is weeks away from having stockpiled sufficient material to construct its first nuclear bomb.

Iran holds about 60 kilograms of 60 percent enriched uranium, Gantz said in a speech at Reichman University – a number that compares with the 33 kilograms figure reported by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last March.

To produce a single nuclear bomb, 25 kilograms of uranium must be enriched to 90%.

These figures appeared to go beyond those published by the IAEA in March. The UN watchdog said then that Iran had installed or planned to install a total of three IR6 cascades, amounting to around 660 machines.

In his remarks, Gantz alluded to Israel's long-standing threat to take military action if it deems diplomacy is at a dead end to deny its arch-enemy the means to make nuclear weapons.

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