Iran Unveils Combat Capable Drones With Israel in Range

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The Iranian armed forces have acquired three bomb-carrying drones with a range of 1,500 kilometres (932 miles), Defence Minister Amir Hatami said on state television on Saturday.

The drones could monitor "enemy movements from a considerable distance" and were capable of combat missions, he said at the delivery ceremony in Tehran broadcast on TV.

The aircraft were equipped with bombs and missiles, and they can fly at an altitude of up to 45,000 feet (13,716 metres), he said, without indicating the name of the new drones.

The drones were manufactured by Iran's military industry with the participation of local universities, he said.

In October 2019, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed Iran has begun deploying missiles in Yemen in order to strike Israel. 

Distance from Iranian missile sitesCredit:

Netanyahu warned at the time, "Iran is already aspiring to obtain precision weapons to hit every target in the Middle East… they manufacture them in Iran and want to deploy them in Iraq and in Syria, and turn the 130,000-rocket arsenal in Lebanon into precision munitions. They aspire to do that, and they have already begun deploying them in Yemen in order to strike Israel from there as well."

Read more: Middle East tensions spike as Israel, Iran and U.S. engage in drone wars

Drones are a key element in Iran's border surveillance, especially the Gulf waters around the Strait of Hormuz, through which one-fifth of the world's oil supply flows.

Tensions between Iran and the United States have reached the highest levels in decades since the United States killed top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad on Jan. 3, prompting Iran to fire missiles days later at bases in Iraq where U.S. troops are stationed. 

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