Two days after it launched a new missile, Iran on Sunday unveiled its first domestically produced drone in a show of military strength to the country’s “enemies”.
Dubbed Karrar or Attacker, the drone can fly at speed of up to 900kmh with a range of 1,000km and can conduct strike and other missions, according to state television. In footage of the launch of the bomber, the television reported that it could carry four cruise missiles, two 250-pound or one 500-pound guided bomb.
Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, the president, said at the unveiling ceremony that the drone was “a messenger of peace and friendship” rather than “an ambassador of death for enemies of humanity”.
“Our defence industry should be reaching a point that cuts the hands of invaders before any action,” Mr Ahmadi-Nejad said.
Although the drone cannot reach Israel, it is likely to raise worries in the west about the intentions and capabilities of Iran’s military.
On Friday, Iran announced that it had test-fired a new surface-to-surface missile, Qiam 1, with “unique tactical capabilities”. No details of the range of the weapon were given but Tehran has already developed Shahab and Sejjil missiles, which have ranges sufficient to hit Israel.
On Saturday the Islamic regime said that it had begun fuelling its first nuclear power plant near Bushehr in the south of the country.
The United Nations has imposed four sets of sanctions on Tehran for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment.
The Bushehr plant is exempted from the sanctions because Tehran has promised Russia to return the spent fuel.
However, Israel and the US say that the military option is not off the table because they believe the country has enough materials to make two nuclear weapons. The Islamic regime insists its nuclear programme is peaceful.
Iranian officials have recently reiterated warnings to the US and Israel against military action.
Mr Ahmadi-Nejad on Sunday again warned Israel against any possible attack, saying, “Iran’s reaction [to such attack] would include the entire earth”.
Ahmad Vahidi, the defence minister, also said this week that Iran can meet not only its own “defence needs” but can also export artillery to over 50 countries.
Referring to the Iran-Iraq war of 1980 to 1988, Mr Vahidi warned the US that the country was ready to fight another “eight years” and “have 200,000 martyrs” in order not to give its territory to “enemies”.