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Iran claims its drone took pictures of Israeli military sites

An Iranian politician says an Iran-made drone that Hezbollah flew over Israel sent back pictures of sensitive military bases.

Iran drone Israel Hezbollah 29 10 2012Enlarge
A military truck carries one of Iran's long-range drones during an annual military parade in Tehran in 2010. An Iranian MP claims that his country has taken pictures of Israeli military sites using an unmanned aerial vehicle. (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

Iran claims to have pictures of sensitive Israeli military sites, photographed by an Iranian-made drone that Hezbollah flew over Israel.

"These aircraft transmit their images online and we are now in possession of the images of [Israeli] restricted areas," Iran's Press TV quotes lawmaker Esmail Kowsari as saying in a televised interview.

Kowsari, who sits on the Iranian parliament's national security committee, warned that: "If Israel intends to take the smallest action against us, we will respond to the regime within their territorial boundaries."

GlobalPost special report: The Drone Age

Hezbollah has acknowledged flying one of Iran's drones over "sensitive" Israeli sites earlier this month. The aircraft got about 25 miles into Israeli airspace before the country's defense forces shot it down.

Israeli authorities said then that the drone was not armed and appeared to be on a reconnaissance mission, though they did not believe it had successfully retrieved any intelligence.

After Kowsari's claim, Agence France-Presse quoted an unnamed Israeli commander as saying that he didn't think there was a camera onboard, though an investigation was still underway.

If, as Kowsari claimed, Iran's drones are capable of transmitting data in flight, they might be more advanced than previously thought.

Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi boasted yesterday that the captured drone was not its latest model, and that the country has "much more advanced technology" in its arsenal.

That announcement, like most of the breakthroughs Iran regularly claims to have made, was greeted with skepticism.

Separately, an Israeli military official today told the Associated Press that international sanctions on Iran were cutting off the flow of weapons to Hezbollah – but that the militant group had been able to build up a powerful arsenal nonetheless.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iran/121029/iran-drone-pictures-israeli-military-sites