Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has announced that his country made its first drone in partnership with Iran, and said Caracas plans to start exporting it soon.

“It is one of the three planes that we have manufactured here, and we are continuing to make them – not just for military use, as much of its equipment is for civilian use,” Chavez said Wednesday during a meeting with top military and defense officials.

Chavez, one of world’s top anti-imperialist leaders has developed very close personal friendship with Iranian President Ahmadinejad – which has always irked the US and Israel.

Reacting to the news, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland (a Zionist Jew) told reporters Thursday in Washington: “The Venezuelans make lots of extravagant claims. So do the Iranians“.

Designed as a surveillance tool, the machine “does not carry arms” and has a 100-kilometer (60 mile) sweep. It can fly solo for some 90 minutes and reach an altitude of 3,000 meters (9,000 feet),” said General Julio Morales, president of the state-run Venezuelan Military Industrial Company Cavim.

Another official in Venezuela said that the drone was assembled from parts made locally and built by engineers trained in Iran.

Islamic Republic has a leading edge in the development of drone technology in the Middle East. While the US has been supplying drones to Israel as part of its $3 billion annual military aid to Israel – Tehran manufactured its first drone locally over a decade ago.

On December 4, 2011 – Iranian Army’s electronic warfare unit announced that it downed a US-built RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft after it crossed into Iran’s airspace over the border with neighboring Afghanistan. Watch a video below.

Chavez: ‘Iran helped us build first drone’ | Rehmat calling