Sunday, 22 August 2010

‘Ambassador of Death’ – Ahmadinejad unveils Iran’s long-range bomber drone

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today unveiled a long-range bomber drone he described as an 'ambassador of death' to Tehran's enemies.

State television footage showed the president applauding as a blue cloth covering the drone - known as Karar or 'assailant' in Persian - was removed to reveal the aircraft marked 'bomber jet'.

It comes as Iran began to load nuclear fuel into its first nuclear power plant at Bushehr.

The broadcast also showed the aircraft in flight and Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi said the drone has a range of 620 miles.

'This jet, before it heralds death for enemies, is the messenger of salvation and dignity for humanity,' Mr Ahmadinejad said in his speech at the unveiling at Tehran's Malek Ashtar university.

He said the drone had 'a main message of peace and friendship' but was intended to deter aggression 'and keep the enemy paralysed in his bases'.

The drone was built to 'carry and fire four stealth cruise missiles... and, depending on the mission, it can carry two bombs of 250lbs each or a precision missile of 500lbs,' state television reported.

Mr Ahmadinejad said Iran's defence abilities 'should reach a point where we can cut off the aggressor's arm before he acts, and if we miss, we should destroy him before he hits the target.'

'The main message of Karar bomber is to prevent any kind of aggression and conflict against Iran,' he added.

The Karar was unveiled on Iran's annual Defence Industry Day, and two days after the Islamic republic test-fired a domestically built surface-to-surface missile - the Qiam.

Iran is expected to follow up with a series of military announcements as the nation also marks 'government week', a period which Tehran uses to tout its achievements.

The country is also expected to test-fire a third generation Fateh 110 missile, after having already paraded a version with a range of up to 125 miles.

The production lines of two missile-carrying speedboats, Seraj and Zolfaqar, are also due to be inaugurated.

Karar's unveiling came days after Iran took delivery of four domestically-built Ghadi mini-submarines, a 'stealth' vessel designed to operate in shallow waters such as the Gulf.

The U.S and Israel have not ruled out military action over Iran's controversial nuclear programme.

The Bushehr plant, which is being monitored by the UN's nuclear watchdog, is not believed to pose a proliferation threat because Russia is supplying the nuclear fuel and will remove the spent fuel rods.

Iran is under UN sanctions to force it to halt uranium enrichment because of fears that it secretly plans to build nuclear weapons. It has denied the allegations.



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