Teheran: The commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi has said that Iran has begun mass-producing a stealth drone with a range of 700 kilometers (420 miles). According to the general, the shape and material of the drone made its detection by radars impossible.
In an interview with Iranian-Arabic news network "al-Alam" Safavi said, "The drone has passed its experimental phase and is being mass produced, and we are currently using it in our operations." The general also said that the drone could be used in reconnaissance operations, information gathering, filming and dispatching of such material.
Safavi said that the Iranian defence ministry and armed forces had reached self-sufficiency in production of different types of weaponry, such as ground-to-ground and long-range ballistic missiles with a range of 2000 kilometers, as well as coast-to-sea missiles.
Safavi's announcement comes a few days after troops under his command successfully tested a land-to-sea missile with a range of about 350 kilometres (210 miles) and a new Russian-made air defence missile system.
A few days earlier, Iranian forces had announced that they had built "suicide" drones capable of attacking US naval ships deployed in the waters of the Gulf.
"We have built birds without passengers (drones) that can carry out suicide operations on the US Navy, at any depth if necessary, to make them leave the region in disgrace," said Ali Shoushtari, deputy commander of the Guards' land forces.
Iranian leaders have repeatedly said the Islamic republic's armed forces are ready for any eventuality in the current standoff with the West over its nuclear programme.