Iran has drones with 7,000km range, says IRGC leader

Iran and six major powers are in talks to revive a 2015 nuclear deal

A picture released on September 27, 2013 by the official website of Iran's Revolutionary Guards shows a newly Iranian-made drone, "Shahed 129" (Witness 129) being shown in Tehran. Iran's Revolutionary Guards Commander, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari announced that his forces have built a new type of military drone with missile and bombing capabilities, their latest achievement in the area of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) production. AFP PHOTO/HO/SEPAH NEWS   +++   RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT " AFP PHOTO / "SEPAH NEWS" NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS   +++      EDS NOTE: AFP IS USING PICTURES FROM ALTERNATIVE SOURCES AS IT WAS NOT AUTHORISED TO COVER THIS EVENT, THEREFORE IT IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DIGITAL ALTERATIONS TO THE PICTURE'S EDITORIAL CONTENT, DATE AND LOCATION WHICH CANNOT BE INDEPENDENTLY VERIFIED == (Photo by HO / SEPAH NEWS / AFP)

Iran has drones with a range of 7,000 kilometres, the top commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps told state media on Sunday.

That capability could be regarded by Washington as a threat to regional stability.

Iran and six major powers are in talks to revive a 2015 nuclear deal from which former US president Donald Trump withdrew three years ago before reimposing sanctions.

Western military analysts say Iran sometimes exaggerates its capabilities, but drones are a key element in Tehran's border surveillance, especially near the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world's oil is shipped.

Iran and regional forces it backs have increasingly relied on drones in Yemen, Syria and Iraq in recent years.

"We have unmanned aerial vehicles with a long range of 7,000 kilometres," said Hossein Salami, commander-in-chief of the IRGC, according to the Irna state news agency.

"They can fly, return home and make landing wherever they are planned to."

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, and constrain its regional actions.

Tehran has ruled out negotiations over ballistic missiles and its role in the Middle East, which countries say has been destabilising.

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