DHAKA: Venezuela is building unmanned drone aircraft as part of military cooperation with Iran and other allies, Reuters has quoted Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as saying, reports Tehran Times.
Referring to a Spanish media report that US prosecutors are investigating drone production in Venezuela, Chavez said, ‘Of course we’re doing it, and we have the right to. We are a free and independent country.
In a televised speech to military officers at Venezuela’s defence ministry, Chavez said the aircraft only has a camera and was exclusively for defensive purposes.
‘We don’t have any plans to harm anyone’, he said.
‘We are doing this with the help of different countries including China, Russia, Iran, and other allied countries’, he added.
During the lengthy broadcast, Chavez spoke by satellite link with a Venezuelan military officer at the state-owned arms maker Cavim.
The officer stood by a small drone labelled Harpy-001.
He said it was 13 feet by 8 feet, could fly as high as 10,000 feet and for as long as 90 minutes.
Venezuela has produced three of them, he said.
‘They are made in this country with military engineers who went to do a course in the sister Republic of Iran’, said the officer.
Spain’s ABC reported this week that US prosecutors in New York were looking into Venezuela’s construction of drones and purchase of drones from Iran, citing sources familiar with the investigation.
BDST: 2001 HRS, JUN 16, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
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