President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says craft has ‘main message of peace and friendship’ but is intended to deter aggression
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a ceremony inaugurating Iran’s new long-range unmanned bomber aircraft. The drone has been dubbed the Karrar, meaning ‘striker’ in Persian. (AP)
Iran has unveiled an unmanned, long-distance bomber drone described by the country’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as “an ambassador of death” to Tehran’s enemies.
At a ceremony today, Ahmadinejad said the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) – named Karrar, meaning “striker” in Persian – had “a main message of peace and friendship” but was intended to deter aggression “and keep the enemy paralysed in his bases”.
The presentation came as technicians began fuelling the Islamic republic’s first nuclear power station, at Bushehr, in a development Israel has described as “totally unacceptable”.
The US and Britain say the Bushehr plant, which is monitored by the UN’s nuclear watchdog, poses no proliferation threat because Russia is supplying the nuclear fuel and will remove the spent fuel rods, minimising any risk that they could be used to make nuclear weapons.
Iran is under UN sanctions to force a halt to uranium enrichment because of fears that it secretly plans to build nuclear weapons. It flatly denies having any such intention.
(Iran has not the capability to enrich uranium over 90%, which is neccessary to built a nuclear weapon.)
Ahmed Vahidi, the Iranian defence minister, said the Karrar had a range of up to 620 miles, which is not far enough to reach Israel.
Iranian state TV reported that the UAV could carry four cruise missiles, two 250lb bombs or one 500lb bomb.
The drone was the latest item of military hardware to be inaugurated by Iran against a background of continuing tension over the nuclear issue.
On Friday, Tehran test-fired a new surface-to-surface missile called the Qiam (meaning “rising”). It has already developed long-range missiles capable of hitting Israel and eastern Europe and of carrying a nuclear warhead.
Earlier this month, the Debka file website, which appears to have links to Israeli intelligence (LOL! Debka file is a Mossad asset!), reported that the father of Iran’s UAV programme, Reza Baruni, had been assassinated in a bomb attack in his home town of Ahwaz, in Khuzestan.