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Iran starts fighter jet production

November 3, 2018

Iran has started manufacturing its own locally designed fighter jet for use in its air force, state TV reported. It comes as Donald Trump's administration prepares to impose another set of sanctions on Tehran.

Iran's Kowsar aircraft
Image: Tasnimnews

Iran launched production of the domestically designed Kowsar fighter plane on Saturday, state television reported, after the United States announced the reimposition of sanctions on Tehran.

"Soon the needed number of this plane will be produced and put at the service of the Air Force," Defense Minister Amir Hatami said at a ceremony to inaugurate the production line.

He added that the venture highlights the capabilities of Iranian experts despite "sanctions by enemies."

Read moreIran braces as US prepares to reimpose pre-JCPOA sanctions

Bracing for sanctions

The event came a day after the United States said it would reintroduce wide-reaching sanctions targeting Iran's oil sales and banking sector from Monday. With the clampdown, US President Donald Trump is hoping to force Iran to abandon its nuclear program, missile development and support for proxy forces in the Middle East. 

The measures will be the second round of sanctions implemented by the US since Trump's decision in May to withdraw from a 2015 landmark nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers.   

Read moreEU plan to sidestep Iran sanctions: How will it work?

Iran, which already uses US-made fighter jets and Russian-made Sukhoi planes, first unveiled its Kowsar aircraft in August. It says the model is "100-percent indigenously made" and capable of carrying various weapons, but some experts claim it is an exact copy of the F-5 jet first produced in the US in the 1960s.  

nm/kl (AP, Reuters)

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