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Middle east

Ahmadinejad unveils Iran's first unmanned 'bomber jet'

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-22

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has unveiled a domestically-built, long-range drone dubbed both a "message of peace" and an "ambassador of death", just one day after the country launched its first nuclear reactor amid much fanfare.

AP - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Sunday inaugurated the country’s first domestically-built, long-range, unmanned bomber aircraft, calling it an “ambassador of death” to Iran’s enemies.

Speaking to a group of officials Ahmadinejad said, “The jet, as well as being an ambassador of death for the enemies of humanity, has a main message of peace and friendship.”

The goal of the aircraft is to “keep the enemy paralyzed in its bases,” he said, adding that the jet is for deterrence and defensive purposes.

The president championed the country’s military self-sufficiency program, and said it will continue “until the enemies of humanity lose hope of ever attacking the Iranian nation.”

The 4-meter-long unmanned plane, dubbed the Karrar or striker in Farsi, was inaugurated on the national day for the country’s defense industry in a ceremony aired live on state TV.

No details were provided on the craft’s capabilities.

Iran has been producing its own light, unmanned surveillance aircraft since the late 1980s.

The ceremony came a day after Iran began to fuel its first nuclear power reactor, with the help of Russia, amid international concerns over the possibility of a military dimension to its nuclear program.

Iran insists it is only interested in generating electricity.

Referring to Israel’s occasional threats against Iran’s nuclear facilities, Ahmadinejad called any attack unlikely, but he said if Israel did, the reaction would be overwhelming.

“The scope of Iran’s reaction will include the entire the earth,” said Ahmadinejad. “We also tell you -- the West -- that all options are on the table.”

Ahmadinejad appeared to be consciously echoing the terminology used by the U.S. and Israel in their statements not ruling out a military option against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

On Friday, Iran also test-fired a new liquid fuel surface-to-surface missile, the Qiam-1, with advanced guidance systems.

Since 1992, Iran has also produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles, torpedoes and a fighter plane. It frequently makes announcements about new advances in military technology that cannot be independently verified.

Iran launched an arms development program during its 1980-88 war with Iraq to compensate for a U.S. weapons embargo.
 

Date created : 2010-08-22

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