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Iran bans private drones over capital

By
Allen Cone
A drone delivers a package along the Avenue des Champs-Elysees during a demonstration at the first Drone Festival in Paris on September 4. Iran has banned privately owned drones from flying over Tehran. Photo by David Silpa/UPI
A drone delivers a package along the Avenue des Champs-Elysees during a demonstration at the first Drone Festival in Paris on September 4. Iran has banned privately owned drones from flying over Tehran. Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Iran banned the use of private drones over Tehran because of safety concerns after two devices were shot at, according to the general in charge of securing the capital's airspace.

Licenses will only be granted to "relevant bodies and not individuals."

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"Those quadcopters ... can fly over sensitive, vital and major centers, record videos and be misused by the enemy," said Gen. Alireza Rabi'ee, the ranking commander at the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' Sarallah Base.

Rabi'ee, in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency, said the drones have caused security, social and psychological concerns.

Last December, Iran's air defense shot down an unmanned aircraft in Tehran near offices of the country's top officials, saying the drone had entered Tehran's airspace without coordination and permission. The drone was allegedly owned by state television, which was said to have been filming a documentary.

Last month, the air defense fired anti-aircraft guns at an unidentified drone over the center of the capital, but it failed to destroy the device.

Rabi'ee said groups involved in cultural or sports activities can apply for permission to fly the remote-controlled drones via the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting or the Ministry of Sports.

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