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Monday 22 September 2014

Iran uses spy drone to spot Israeli targets

Damien McElroy London

Published 30/10/2012 | 05:00

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A still image taken from Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) video footage shows what they say is a small unidentified aircraft shot down in a mid-air interception after it crossed into southern Israel

Iran claims to have harvested images of "sensitive" Israeli military sites and other potential missile targets from a drone shot down after it was launched from Lebanon by Hizbollah.

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Ismael Kowsari, an Iranian MP, told the semi-official Mehr news agency that pictures from the drone were broadcast online to Hizbollah operators before the Israeli military destroyed it earlier this month.

"The pictures of forbidden sites taken and transmitted by this drone are now in our possession," Mr Kowsari said.

Mehr has close links to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is in overall charge of Iran's relationship with Hizbollah, the Shia group whose militant terrorist arm is equipped with weaponry by Tehran.

An Israeli inquiry into the drone, which was reported to have crossed deep into its territory, has not reached a conclusion. However, military officials do not believe the drone carried a camera. The Hizbollah leadership has boasted that it assembled the drone in southern Lebanon from components produced by its Iranian paymasters.

It has warned that it is prepared to send more drones into Israel, despite a warning from UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon that it was risking Lebanese security by doing so.

Ahmed Vahid, Iran's defence minister, said that the drone's sophistication had "amazed" Israeli strategists. Mr Kowsari, a former commander of the IRGC, also claimed that the images would allow Iran to respond to any act of aggression by Israel or its Western allies against the Islamic Republic.

"That's why we say we will respond to Israel inside its territory should it take any action against us," he said.

Iran claimed last month it had made a missile-carrying drone with a range of 1,250 miles, nearly double the range of previous Iranian drones. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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