New Iranian drone raises US concerns about nuclear ambitions
Iran's announcement of its first domestically- made unmanned aerial drone "is of concern" to the United States, the State Department said Monday, dpa reported.
Spokesman PJ Crowley told reporters though Iran had a right to provide for its self-defence that the US remained concerned about systems that could threaten stability in the region and Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
"What we're concerned about are Iran's intentions," he told US broadcaster MSNBC earlier Monday.
"I don't think that any one weapons system is going to tip a balance one way or the other, but certainly Iran sees itself as a regional power," he said. "And as they acquire more capability, that will be of concern to the United States and other states in the Gulf, and we will respond appropriately. But obviously, of greatest concern to us are Iran's nuclear ambitions."
He said the US hopes to engage in constructive dialogue with Tehran on its nuclear programme, which Iran maintains is for peaceful energy purposes but which the West fears could be aimed at acquiring nuclear weapons.
The new 4-metre-long drone was unveiled by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a ceremony marking National Defence Industry Day on Sunday, Fars news agency said.
Tehran says its army is not trained to attack another country, but the West fears Iran could launch a missile strike against Israel, especially with its Shahab missiles which reportedly have a range of 2,000 kilometres, capable of reaching any part of the Jewish state.