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Iran's drones can gather intelligence, strike targets

world Updated: Apr 12, 2010 16:43 IST

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A top Iranian general said on Monday that the military's newly produced aerial drones, which have aroused US concern, are capable of gathering intelligence and striking at targets.

"We have made good advances and production is going on at suitable rate," ground forces commander Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan told reporters ahead of the annual Iran Army Day on April 18.

"These planes would be used for operations as well as surveillance which means they can send us online footage from faraway distances and can also be armed for striking at targets," the Iranian Student's News Agency (ISNA) quoted the senior commander as saying.

Pourdastan also said that Iran was working on producing unmanned helicopters, details of which would be announced later, ISNA reported.

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said last month that Iranian drones could "create difficulty" for the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan and could fall in the hands of terror groups.

In February, Iran opened two production lines for manufacturing the drones, claiming the planes would be capable of carrying out "assaults with high precision."