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Iran sets up new base near disputed islands

Associated Press Modified: November 4, 2012 at 6:00 am •  Published: November 4, 2012
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Tehran says the islands have been part of states that existed on the Iranian mainland from antiquity until the British occupied them in the early 20th century.

Tehran also maintains that an agreement signed eight years before its 1979 Islamic Revolution between Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and the ruler of one of the UAE's seven emirates, Sharjah, gives it the right to administer Abu Musa and station troops there.

There was no agreement on the other two islands. The UAE insists they belonged to the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah until Iran captured them by force days before the UAE statehood in 1971.

Also Sunday, Iranian newspapers reported that the country has produced a domestically-made drone capable of hovering in midair.

The conservative Resalat said an advanced vertical take-off and landing or VTOL drone will be displayed in February. It quoted Abbas Jam, who is director of the project, as saying that the drone can also fly in silence.

Earlier in October Iran said it obtained images of sensitive Israeli bases taken by a drone that was launched by Lebanon's Hezbollah movement that month and downed by Israel.

Iran says other drones made dozens of apparently undetected flights into Israeli airspace from Lebanon in recent years. Israel has rejected that.

Iran frequently claims breakthroughs in military technology and other achievements. Most are impossible to independently confirm.