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Iran develops UAV with a range of 600 miles, reports state

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TEHRAN (BNS): Iran continues to give sleepless nights to the West. After launching its first satellite, Iran announced that it has built its own unmanned surveillance aircraft. A top defence official was quoted by the agencies as saying that the aircraft has a range of 600 miles signaling that archrival Israel was within its reach.

Iranian deputy defence minister Ahmad Vahidi hailed it as a significant development as drones play crucial role in modern military tactics. Vahidi was quoted by a newspaper owned by the Iranian government.

With an unmanned surveillance aircraft, Iran has signaled to the Western world that it is going ahead with its strong military programme despite sanctions. It wants to firm up its air defence in wake of Israel's threatening postures.

Iran claims it is guarding itself from a large US presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iranian nuclear facilities are under direct threat from Israeli air attacks. Tehran has already warned of retaliation if Israel attacked its nuclear facilities.

The reports about Iran developing drones had been surfacing every now and then. But it is the first time when a top ranking government official has confirmed that the country now had UAVs. It is still not clear if it the UAV has attack capabilities. Iran has been accusing the US of sending its drones over its airspace on spy missions.

The West took notice of Iran's growing influence in the region when it launched its first satellite last month. Concerns have already been expressed about Tehran's nuclear programme which has become a cause of major international confrontation.

Iran's space programme is considered to be more sophisticated than what was earlier expected. The West is concerned about the possible military use of space by Iran. The first Iranian satellite, Omid (hope), came as a shock for Western experts.

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