The good news is that Iran has built an unmanned surveillance aircraft with a range of more than 600 miles - enough to reach Israel. Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi has recently disclosed this to the government-owned Tehran Times on February 19, 2009. Top defense official said that he could not provide too many details but noted that development of an unmanned aircraft, the drone as it is called, was an important achievement for the Islamic Republic. The drone had already been built two years ago but its announcement and official declaration of range came now. The first word of the drone came in 2007 when the then-commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, said Iran had designed an unmanned device to take photos and gather information about enemy positions. Iran is also seeking to develop a drone with attack capabilities. In December 2008, Iranian Air Force commander General Hasan Shah Safi said Iranian experts had designed an unmanned aircraft with radar-evading devices that would be able to attack an enemy target and avoid detection. He had said the military was working on building a prototype of the craft. -ENGR MUNAWAR HUSAIN, via e-mail, February 20.