Iran has unveiled what it says is its
first domestically built unmanned – or drone – bomber.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the
plane could serve as a “messenger of death”, but that its key message
was one of friendship.
Iranian state TV later showed the
“Karrar” aircraft in flight.
It said it had a range of 1,000km (620
miles) and could carry two 250-pound (115kg) bombs, or a precision bomb of 500
The plane is the latest in a series of
new pieces of military hardware unveiled by Iran.
“This jet is a messenger of honour
and human generosity and a saviour of mankind, before being a messenger of
death for enemies of mankind,” President Ahmadinejad said after unveiling
the Karrar at a ceremony with defence officials.
“The key message is friendship,”
he added. “We must make efforts to render all the enemy’s weapons useless
with our defence potential.”
The unveiling came amid continuing
concerns over Iran’s nuclear programme.
Western states suspect Iran is trying to
obtain a nuclear bomb, though Iran says its programme is designed to boost
domestic power supplies.
On Saturday, Iran began loading fuel
rods at the Bushehr nuclear power station built and operated by Russia.
The US said it saw no
“proliferation risk” from the plant, though Israel condemned the