Iran bans private drones above capital Tehran over security fears

Drones 'can fly over sensitive sites, film them and be exploited by the enemy' IRGC deputy commander says

Samuel Osborne
Tuesday 21 February 2017 11:39
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A drone owned by Iranian state TV was shot down after entering a no-fly zone near the offices of Iran's Supreme Leader in December
A drone owned by Iranian state TV was shot down after entering a no-fly zone near the offices of Iran's Supreme Leader in December

Iran has banned private drones from flying above the capital of Tehran over security fears.

At least two drones were shot down in recent weeks as they flew near sensitive areas.

Now, licences will only be granted to "relevant bodies and not individuals".

"These quadcopters are equipped with cameras and can fly over sensitive sites, film them and be exploited by the enemy," said Ali Reza Rabi'i, deputy commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

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As such, drones equipped with cameras can "pose a threat," he told the Tasnim news agency.

In December, a drone owned by Iranian state TV was shot down after entering a no-fly zone near the offices of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The drone was said to have been filming for a documentary.

Last month, anti-aircraft cannons fired at an another drone, footage of which was shared on social media.

The air defence system failed to destroy the unidentified drone.

Mr Rabi'i said drones equipped with cameras had led to privacy complains after they flew over some people's homes.

He said drone permits would not be given to individuals.

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