Iran claims to have images of Israeli military bases taken by a drone launched by Lebanon’s Hezbollah

Read Time:2 Minute, 57 Second

  • Iran claims Iranian-made  surveillance  drones have made ‘dozens of undetected flights’  into Israeli  airspace
  • Israel has rejected the  account

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED:14:19 EST, 29  October 2012| UPDATED:14:19 EST, 29 October 2012

Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan NasrallahHezbollah: Leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah has said the  Ayub drone was manufactured in Iran and assembled in Lebanon

Iran yesterday claimed to have images of  sensitive Israeli military bases taken by a drone that was launched  by  Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement earlier this month.

The announcement by senior Iranian MP Ismaeil  Kowsari gave no details about the photos – other than calling the Israeli bases “forbidden sites” – but it suggested Iranian drones have the ability to transmit  data while in flight.

It also appeared aimed at warning Israel  about the options for retaliation for any possible strikes on Iranian nuclear  sites.

Kowsari, also was quoted as saying that the  Iranian-backed Hezbollah possesses more sophisticated Iranian-made drones than  the one that took the pictures and was shot down by the Israeli miltary,  including some that could carry weapons.

‘These drones transmit the pictures online,’  Kowsari told the semiofficial Mehr news agency.

‘The pictures of forbidden sites taken and  transmitted by this drone are now in our possession’

The MP, who heads the parliament’s defence  committee, said Hezbollah is “definitely” equipped with more sophisticated  drones, but gave no further details.

A senior Israeli military official in  Israel’s northern command said he did not believe the drone possessed a camera,  though he noted an Israeli investigation is continuing.

He spoke on condition of anonymity under  military guidelines.

Hezbollah ‘won’t announce it as long as it  doesn’t see the need to do so … That’s why we say we will respond to Israel  inside (its) territory, should it take any action against us,’ said Kowsari, a  former commander of the powerful Revolutionary Guard.

Iran has claimed that Iranian-made  surveillance drones have made dozens of apparently undetected flights into  Israeli airspace from Lebanon in recent years.

Israel has rejected the account.

Iran’s Defence Minister Ahmad Vahid also  claimed on Sunday that Tehran has drones far more advanced than the Ayub  unmanned aircraft launched by Hezbollah, saying it was not the ‘latest Iranian  technology, definitely.’

He did not elaborate.

Long range: The Shahed 129 drone nearly doubles the range of previous drones produced by Iranian technicians Long range: The Shahed 129 drone nearly doubles the  range of previous drones produced by Iranian technicians

Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah has  said the Ayub drone was manufactured in Iran and assembled in Lebanon.

Iran routinely announces technological  breakthroughs in its defence program.

Last month it claimed to have started  producing a long-range missile-carrying drone with a range of 1,250 miles.

The Shahed-129, or Witness-129, covers much  of the Middle East including Israel and nearly doubles the range of previous  drones produced by Iranian technicians, who have often relied on reverse  engineering military hardware with the country under Western embargo.

But it’s unclear whether the new drone  contains any elements of an unmanned CIA aircraft that went down in eastern Iran  last year.

Iran said it has recovered data from the  RQ-170 Sentinel and claimed it was building its own replica.

Iran’s claims are impossible to independently  confirm because the country’s arsenal is not open to widespread international  inspection with multinational war games or other cooperation.

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