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Iran is developing drones that can carry explosives and which can be used in “suicide” operations by intentionally crashing them into a target.

Iran recently revealed and tested its new suicide drones, which can be used against a variety of aerial and ground targets.

The drone was first exposed during the “Mohammad Rasul Allah” mass military maneuvers conducted by Iran in December 2014.

Iranian Ground Forces Commander Ahmad-Reza Purdastan said at the time, as quoted by MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute): “This exercise saw our first use of a suicide drone that can be used to attack aerial and ground targets. This is a mobile bomb. In accordance with the existing capabilities of the [Iranian] industry, we have improved the range and operational capabilities of our drones. They currently carry better equipment and are furnished with more sophisticated cameras. These drones are the ground forces’ long arm on the battlefield.”

Ground Forces Deputy Commander Kiomars Heydari said that Iran had modified the “Yasir” drone for suicide missions, adding that the exercise had featured three types of suicide drones.

“Iran has the ability to modify all its drones for suicide operations… In the next maneuvers, we will expand this capability,” said Ali Mehrabi, ground forces operations officer.

The Iranian website Tasnim, which is affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), explained that suicide drone operations are effective even though the drone is lost because they inflict heavy losses on the enemy by targeting advanced platforms such as aircraft carriers, warships, jets and helicopters. “Suicide operations have been carried out by humans as well as by speedboats – [this is a tactic] invented by the Islamic Republic in the Iran-Iraq War, but nowadays, drones can destroy targets in suicide,” Tasnim wrote in January.

On December 31, 2014, the Iranian Mashregh News, which is affiliated with security circles, presented 10 drone models and said that while some of them were already being used for suicide missions, others could be modified for such operations. According to the website, these Iranian drones, with a range of 250 km. (155 miles), are meant to be used against Israel.

MEMRI points out that Iran sees developing its drone array as an important foundation for deterrence capability and for its goal of achieving regional military hegemony.

IRGC deputy commander Hossein Salami stated in an interview in March that Iran had reached “an important point” in its drone technology. “Our capabilities are so advanced that, for instance, one of our stealth drones can fly for 30 hours straight. Its operational range is 3,000 km, and it is extraordinarily effective in identifying and attacking targets.”

By: United with Israel Staff
(With files from MEMRI)

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