Iran says it has developed drone 'designed to hit Israel's Tel Aviv, Haifa' - Mehr News

Brigadier General Kiomars Heidari said the drone, named Arash-2, is a newer version of Arash-1.

A drone is launched from an Iranian submarine during a military exercise in an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on August 25, 2022. (photo credit: IRANIAN ARMY/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY)/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
A drone is launched from an Iranian submarine during a military exercise in an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on August 25, 2022.
(photo credit: IRANIAN ARMY/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY)/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Iran’s ground forces chief Brigadier General Kiomars Heidari said on Monday that Tehran has developed an advanced long-range suicide drone "designed to hit Israel's Tel Aviv, Haifa," the semi-official Mehr news agency reported. 

Heidari said the drone, named Arash-2, is a newer version of Arash-1.

Iran said on Monday it was ready to continue cooperating with UN nuclear watchdog while revealing a drone capable of hitting major cities in Israel, which has threatened to attack Iranian nuclear sites if diplomacy fails to save a 2015 nuclear pact.

Speaking after European powers expressed frustration with Tehran's intentions to salvage the agreement, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani urged the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) "not to yield to Israel's pressure" over Tehran's nuclear activities.

"Both the US and Europe should prove that they do not prioritize the interests of the Zionist regime (Israel) when taking political decisions."

Nasser Kanaani 
 Mossad chief David Barnea attends a ceremony marking Remembrance Day for Israel's fallen soldiers and victims of terror, at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, on May 3, 2022. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) Mossad chief David Barnea attends a ceremony marking Remembrance Day for Israel's fallen soldiers and victims of terror, at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, on May 3, 2022. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

The IAEA's Board of Governors meets on Monday, three months after adopting a resolution urging Iran to give credible answers to the agency's investigations into uranium traces at three sites in Iran. Iran says the probes are politically motivated.

European countries' serious doubts

On Saturday, France, Britain and Germany said they had "serious doubts" about Iran's intentions to revive a deal curbing its nuclear program in return for a lifting of sanctions, comments that were rejected by Tehran and called "very untimely" by Moscow. 

"Iran announces its constructive cooperation with the agency as its obligation ... While Iran has obligations, it also has rights," Kanaani told a televised news conference.

"Naturally Iran expects constructive actions from IAEA and the members of its governing board."

After 16 months of indirect talks between Tehran and Washington, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Aug. 8 the bloc had laid down a final offer to overcome an impasse for the revival of the agreement.

Earlier this month, Iran sent its latest response to the EU's proposed text. Western diplomats said it was a step backwards, with Tehran seeking to link a revival of the deal with the closure of IAEA investigations into the uranium traces.

Kanaani called Saturday's European statement "unconstructive."

"Both the US and Europe should prove that they do not prioritize the interests of the Zionist regime (Israel) when taking political decisions," he said.

Widely believed to have the Middle East’s only nuclear arms but which sees Iran as a existential threat, Israel says it will attack Iranian nuclear sites if diplomacy fails to contain Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Iran has vowed a "crushing" response to any Israeli aggression.

Barnea's statement

The director of Israel's Mossad spy service, David Barnea, warned Iran's clerical rulers against "resorting to force against Israel or Israelis."

"The top Iranian echelon must be aware that resorting to force against Israel or Israelis, directly from Iran or via proxies, will meet a painful response against those responsible - on Iranian soil," Barnea said in a speech at Reichman University near Tel Aviv on Monday.

"This will happen in Tehran, in Kermanshah, in Isfahan," he added, referring to areas of Iran where authorities have reported sabotage operations against facilities or personnel linked to the country's military or nuclear programs.