Undisclosed aspects of the Iranian regime’s extensive unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program were unveiled in a press conference on October 6, hosted by the U.S. Representative Office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
Details disclosed included the locations of production sites, the complete cycle of the program from production to deployment, and from the training of their usage to the procurement of the vehicles.
The NCRI said, “The alarming new details on the program, operated by the Quds Force of the IRGC, have been gathered by the network of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) inside Iran.”
The NCRI has previously managed to expose dozens of important sites and facilities related to the regime’s nuclear weapons program over the past two decades, as well as uncovering the missile program and the mullahs’ terrorism network across the Middle East.
One of the primary weapons that the regime has used in order to export their terrorism activities is the use of drones. In the past decade alone, despite Iran’s economic crises, the regime has invested heavily in the production of drones.
The regime’s notorious security force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), especially their terrorist branch, the Quds Force, routinely use the UAVS for their own terrorist operations, or by supplying them to their affiliated terrorist groups in the region.
The NCRI said, “Within the Quds Force Intelligence Department, a division is responsible for ordering and procuring UAVs. This division identifies the quantity and types of UAVs needed in accordance with the particular designs and objectives for each target country.”
Requests for the UAVs have to be submitted to the Ministry of Defense, which are then provided by the main production facility, a subsidiary of the Aviation Industries Organization under the Ministry.
Training to use the UAV is hosted by the Quds Force Training Department, which brings members of affiliated militant groups abroad to Iran, and teaches them based on what their intended missions are.
The NCRI said, “The drones that are subsequently either produced by the IRGC Aerospace Force officers, who operate under the command of the Quds Force branch in that country, or by trained personnel of the Quds Force mercenary groups, are used in reconnaissance or operational missions in the host country.”
Across the Middle East, there are specific regions in which the Quds Force regularly uses their drones in, including domestically, by attacking Iranian Kurdish groups.
In Syria, the IRGC has been known to have used UAVs to help them identify and attack the Syrian opposition forces during the recent conflict in the country.
The IRGC has regularly made drones available to their affiliated militant groups in Iraq. In order to get them into the country, the parts are sent separately by land or air and then assembled in Iraqi workshops with links to the IRGC.
Back in 2003 in Lebanon, seven members of the Hezbollah organization were given training on the Mohaher-4 aircraft, of which several planes were later sent to the organization by the regime.
The Yemeni Ansarollah (Houthis) group, like the Iraqi militant groups, are provided with drones by the IRGC, which they use in many of their attacks. Due to the proximity between Yemen and Saudi Arabia, the drones are routinely shot down if they end up in Saudi territory.