Venezuela's government has launched three surveillance drones equipped with small cameras as part of an initiative to curb drug trafficking.

President Nicolas Maduro says the drones were built with help from Iran and will be used to monitor Venezuela's borders. Venezuela is a major drug trafficking hub.

During a speech on state television Thursday, Maduro said the drones also will be used to help fight crime, which is one of the country's most pressing domestic problems.

He did not explain how the drones would be used in the effort to reduce crime.