Hajizadeh and downed US drone_311.
(photo credit: FARS)
Less than four months after confiscating a US drone that went down in its
territory, Iran has domestically produced a new unmanned aerial vehicle called
the Shaparak (Moth), Iranian state-owned news agency Press TV reported on
The drone has an operational radius of 50 kilometers and a
flight ceiling of 4,572 meters, Press TV quoted Reza Danandeh Hakamabad, the
aeronautics engineer in charge of the project, as saying on Friday.
added that the aircraft has the capability to fly non-stop for three and a half
hours and can carry an 8 kilogram payload.
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engine, the Iranian drone is equipped with cameras that can submit surveillance
images to the base on the ground, according to the report.
to have shot down a RQ-170 Sentinel drone that was flying over its airspace in
December, later saying that they had actually commandeered the UAV’s navigation
system, making it land in Iranian territory.
US military officials said
that the drone went down due to technical difficulties while on a surveillance
mission, denying that Iran had actively brought the craft down.
displayed the US drone on television, vowing to “reverse-engineer” the UAV to
build its own drone.
Meanhile, the world’s biggest electronic payment
system on Saturday cut off Iranian banks blacklisted by the EU, in an attempt to
further strangle Tehran’s ability to finance a nuclear
Belgium-based SWIFT, which facilitates the bulk of global
cross-border payments, said it disconnected designated Iranian financial firms
from its messaging system on Saturday after European regulators ordered the
company to do so.
“The EU decision forces SWIFT to take action,” Lázaro
Campos, SWIFT chief executive, said in a statement on
“Disconnecting banks is an extraordinary and unprecedented step
for SWIFT,” Campos said. “It is a direct result of international and
multilateral action to intensify financial sanctions against Iran.”