Press TV – December 14, 2008
Iran says it has manufactured a new generation of "spy drones" capable of providing near instantaneous access to aerial intelligence.
Mahmoud Mani, Head of the Aerospace Faculty at Iran's Amir Kabir University of Technology made public on Sunday the successful production of "micro drones" by Iranian aerospace experts.
Known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the systems prowl over enemy terrain and transmit real-time images of the area of concern to their ground operators, who guide them with joysticks from a distance.
"Iran's domestically-manufactured micro unmanned aerial vehicle would be used in research projects," Fars News Agency quoted Mani as saying.
The robotic aircraft are generally designed for surveillance, reconnaissance and covert missions.
The new development comes at a time that Iran is pursuing a military self-sufficiency campaign directed at improving its defense capabilities after years of sanctions and facing military threats.
Israel accuses Iran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), of making efforts to "build a nuclear weapon."
Under the allegation, Israeli officials argue that a military attack is a legitimate option for destroying Iran's nuclear infrastructure.
Tel Aviv's rising rhetoric against Iran has fueled speculation about an imminent unilateral Israeli strike. However, analysts maintain that an Israeli attack on Iran would not be possible without a US green light.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in November that Tel Aviv had received a green light from Washington to take any action it deems "necessary" against Iran over its nuclear program.
Iran insists its activities are directed at the civilian applications of the technology and are in line with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which grants all signatories the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.
Video of Iranian UAV Monitoring US Aircraft Carrier Ronald Reagan
Last updated 19/12/2008