Iran inaugurates new drone production line in Tajikistan

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran announced on Tuesday that it has inaugurated a production line for the manufacture of a new military drone in Tajikistan, a first for both countries.

A report by the official IRNA news agency said the ceremony took place during a visit to the Central Asian country by General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces.

The move is seen as an effort by Iran to restore the balance of power in the region: Afghanistan under its Sunni Muslim Taliban rulers poses a threat to its two neighbours, predominantly Shiite Iran and secular Tajikistan.

The report says the drone is nicknamed Ababil-2 after a bird in the Quran. It is capable of carrying out attacks as well as surveillance missions at a range of 200 kilometers (124 miles) with 1 1/2 hours of flight time, according to the report. He did not reveal other details such as production line capacity.

The announcement marks the first time that Iran has launched a military production line overseas.

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