Sunday, August 22, 2010

Iran unveils longe rang drone, day after start of fuelling Bushehr reactor

Iran unveiled a prototype long-range unmanned bomber on Sunday, the latest in a stream of announcements of new Iranian-made military hardware. On a stage in front of military officials, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pulled a sheet away from the aircraft, called the Karrar. Iran says it is its first long-range drone. With the United States and Israel not ruling out a military strike to stop Iran getting a nuclear bomb, the Islamic Republic has showed off new mini-submarines, a surface-to-surface missile and announced plans to launch high altitude satellites over the next three years.
 The presentation of the drone came a day after Iranian and Russian technicians began fuelling Iran's first nuclear power station, which Israel called "totally unacceptable."  In a speech at the unveiling ceremony, Ahmadinejad said Iran should seek the ability to make pre-emptive strikes against a perceived threat, although he said it would never strike first.
"If there is an ignorant person or an egoist or a tyrant who just wanted to make an aggression then our Defense Ministry should reach a point where it could cut off the hand of the aggressor before it decided to make an aggression," he said.  "We should reach a point when Iran would serve as a Defense umbrella for all freedom loving nations in the face of world aggressors. We don't want to attack anywhere, Iran will never decide to attack anywhere, but our revolution cannot sit idle in the face of tyranny, we can't remain indifferent."
The exact capabilities of the new drone were not disclosed, but it is supposedly able to carry bombas over a long distance.

The loading of the reactor in Bushehr began on Saturday, when technicians of Russia's state-owned Rosatom nuclear corporation began loading 80 tonnes of fuel. The loading is the last step before the completion of a project 35 years. The long-delayed delivery prompted John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, to warn that Israel nhad only days to destroy the reactor before the arrival of fuel would create a danger of nuclear fallout in the event of a bombing. But the reactor at Bushehr - likely the first functioning nuclear power plant in the Middle East outside of Israel - has been in the works since the time of the shah, and non-proliferation experts say it is the least of their concerns in Iran.

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