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Tehran says new drone can reach most Mideast destinations

Unmanned airplane design copied from downed American RQ-170 Sentinel, says Iranian general

Chief of the aerospace division of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Amir Ali Hajizadeh (left), near a captured US RQ-170 Sentinel drone in April 2012. (photo credit: AP/Sepahnews)
Chief of the aerospace division of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Amir Ali Hajizadeh (left), near a captured US RQ-170 Sentinel drone in April 2012. (photo credit: AP/Sepahnews)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A senior Iranian commander says the country’s newly produced missile-carrying drone has a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles), which puts much of the Middle East within operating distance of Iranian territory.

The Monday report by the semiofficial Fars agency quoted Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, who is aerospace chief of the powerful Revolutionary Guards.

His description of the aircraft, which Iran first announced last week, is like that of the American RQ-170 Sentinel, one of which went down in Iranian territory last year. Iran said it was building a copy of the RQ-170 in April.

The Islamic Republic’s defense industry frequently announces technological breakthroughs that are impossible to verify independently.

Gen. Hajizadeh said the drone has civilian and military uses.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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