Iran unveils new drone that general says is designed to strike Tel Aviv, Haifa

Commander of Iranian military’s ground forces claims Arash-2 suicide UAV specifically developed, with ‘unique capabilities,’ for attacking Israeli coastal cities

Iranian Brig. Gen. Kioumars Heydari (Foad Ashtari/Tasnim News Agency, Wikipedia, CC BY 4.0)
Iranian Brig. Gen. Kioumars Heydari (Foad Ashtari/Tasnim News Agency, Wikipedia, CC BY 4.0)

A senior Iranian military commander said Monday that Iran has developed a long-range suicide drone intended to strike major cities along Israel’s Mediterranean coast.

Brig. Gen. Kioumars Heydari, who heads the Iranian military’s ground forces, said the Arash-2 drone was specifically designed to attack Tel Aviv and Haifa, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.

Heydari said the unmanned aerial vehicle has unique capabilities, without further elaborating.

Iran has previously made dubious and exaggerated claims regarding its military capabilities and there was no independent confirmation of the latest announcement.

Tehran, which has long worked on developing UAV technology, has been accused in recent years of launching drone attacks on US- and Israel-linked targets in the region, as well as against American allies. It has also reportedly supplied drones to allied countries and proxy groups, including to Russia for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Heydari’s announcement followed a number of Israeli warnings directed against Iran, as the Islamic Republic and world powers negotiate an agreement to restore the 2015 deal limiting the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Top Iranian figures — including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — have threatened on numerous occasions to strike Tel Aviv and Haifa if Iran is attacked, including a threat in June to “raze” both cities to the ground.

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