Iran unveils new long-range drone (VIDEO)


Iranian Zelzal missiles are displayed on September 23, 2012 in a square south of Tehran to mark the "Sacred Defence Week," commemorating Iran's eight-year war with Iraq. Iran's Revolutionary Guards unveiled a new long-range drone on September 25, 2012.



Iran's Revolutionary Guards unveiled a long-range drone, which is capable of reaching most of the Middle East, including Israel, on Tuesday.

Reuters said the drone, named Shahed 129, has a range of 1,240 miles and can carry bombs and missiles, according to Iranian state television.

"The new drone... can carry out combat and reconnaissance missions with its 24-hour non-stop flight capability," said the website of Iran's state-run Press TV, according to the Guardian. "The home-made aircraft is capable of hitting targets at a distance of 1,700-2,000 kilometers... [and] can be equipped with electronic and communication systems including cameras which can capture and send live images."

The Associated Press said Iran also test fired four anti-ship missiles, ahead of upcoming naval war games, apparently planned in response to American warship drills in the Persian Gulf.

Semi-official news agency Fars said, "The missiles were fired simultaneously at a sea target as large as a warship and sank it in fifty seconds," citing a Guards' navy commander, Ali Fadavi, the Guardian reported.

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The news came as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was set to address the UN General Assembly in New York. On Monday, he said Israel had no roots in the Middle East and would be "eliminated," Reuters noted.

Iran's nuclear program has been a major cause of heightened tension in the region, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling on the US to issue ultimatums to stop Iran from building what Israel believes is an atomic bomb. Tehran has denied that it is developing a weapon, insisting that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, Israeli newspaper Haaretz noted.

Both Reuters and the AP noted that it is impossible to verify Iran's claims independently, and some analysts are skeptical of the actual capabilities of Iran's weapons.

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The AP has some footage from Iran's state-run TV: