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Middle East
Iran unveils 'unmanned bomber'
Ahmadinejad calls domestically built craft "ambassador of death" to country's enemies.
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2010 11:55 GMT
An Iranian defence ministry photo purports to show the launch of the Karrar bomber aircraft [AFP]

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, has inaugurated what his government calls the country's first domestically built, long-range, unmanned bomber aircraft.

Speaking to a group of officials on Sunday, he described it an "ambassador of death" to Iran's enemies.

The four-metre-long unmanned aircraft, dubbed the Karrar [striker in Farsi], was inaugurated on the national day for the country's defence industry in a ceremony aired live on state TV.

No details were provided on the craft's capabilities.

"The jet, as well as being an ambassador of death for the enemies of humanity, has a main message of peace and friendship," Ahmadinejad said.

The goal of the aircraft is to "keep the enemy paralysed in its bases".

Ahmadinejad said the jet is for deterrence and defensive purposes. He praised the country's military self-sufficiency programme, and said it will continue "until the enemies of humanity lose hope of ever attacking the Iranian nation".

The bomber aircraft's inauguration came a day after Iran began to fuel its first nuclear power reactor, with the help of Russia, amid Western and Israeli concerns over the possibility of a military dimension to its nuclear programme.

On Sunday an Isreali minister denounced the move.

However, Iran insists it is only interested in generating electricity.

'Overwhelming reaction'

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," he said.

"We also tell you - the West - that all options are on the table."

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

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

Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armoured personnel carriers, missiles, torpedoes and a jet fighter.

It frequently makes announcements about new advances in military technology that cannot be independently verified.

Source:
Agencies
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