Iran has developed drones with a range of 7,000 km (4,375 miles), Iranian state media cited the top commander of the Revolutionary Guards as saying on Sunday, a development which may be seen by Washington as a threat to regional stability.

Tehran’s assertion comes as Iran and six major powers are in talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal that former US President Donald Trump exited three years ago and imposed sanctions. Independent observers and media are not allowed to verify such claims.

Western military analysts say Iran sometimes exaggerates its capabilities, but drones are a key element in Tehran’s surveillance and power projection, especially in the Gulf waters around the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world’s oil supply flows.

Iran and regional forces it backs have increasingly relied on drones in Yemen, Syria, Iraq in recent years. Yeme’s Houthis often launch armed drones with Iranian origin against targets in Saudi Arabia.

“We have unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) with long range of 7,000 kilometres. They can fly, return home, and make landing wherever they are planned to,” the Guards commander-in-chief Hossein Salami was quoted as saying by state-controlled media.

US President Joe Biden is seeking to revive and eventually broaden the nuclear pact to put greater limits on Iran’s nuclear and missile programmes, as well as constraining its activities.

Tehran has ruled out negotiations over ballistic missiles and its role in the Middle East, where Sh’ite-led Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia have been involved in proxy wars.

Source » iranintl