Iranian satellite launched by Russia could be used for Ukraine surveillance

Russia has launched an Iranian satellite since Kazakhstan Concerns that it could be used for battlefield surveillance in Moscow’s attack on Ukraine.

Iran has denied that the Khayyam satellite, launched into orbit by a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, was ever under Russian control.

But The Washington Post reported earlier Moscow has told Tehran it plans to use satellites “for months or more to monitor military targets in Ukraine”, two US officials said.

The satellite, named after Persian poet and mathematician Omar Khayyam, was built by Russia and will include a high-resolution camera that will give Tehran new capabilities to monitor sensitive facilities in Israel and the Gulf region, the paper reported.

Iran’s space agency has said it will control the satellite “from day one” and that “no third country will be able to access its information”.

Russia’s satellite launch comes at a pivotal moment for its space agency Roscosmos, which has threatened to reduce cooperation with the West and bring about high-level changes, with longtime chief Dmitry Rogozin dismissed. Vladimir Putin.

Even as relations between Russia and the US cooled, Roscosmos and Nasa maintained a basic level of cooperation, including carrying astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). Russia has Threatened to leave the ISS In 2025 if the sanctions are not lifted.

Isolated from the West, Russia has turned to Africa, the Middle East and Asia as sources of trade and diplomatic support. And one of the benefits of the collaboration is the ability to launch satellites on its heavy-lifting Soyuz rockets.

“Due to the Khayyam satellite’s weight of more than half a ton and the high success of the Soyuz launcher, the launch of the Khayyam satellite has been entrusted to Russia,” a statement on Iran’s space agency website stated, according to AFP.

“As before, today Russia is open to cooperation in the field of space research with all interested countries and partners,” said the head of Roscosmos, Yuri Borisov, “This is an important step for Russian-Iranian bilateral cooperation.”

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Russia has seen Iran as an expert in adapting to new sanctions imposed by the US and other Western countries. Russia is believed to be interested in Iran’s experience on issues ranging from circumventing Iranian banking sanctions to maintaining aircraft without easy access to parts of the West.

Putin met Iran’s Supreme Leader. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, during a rare visit to Iran in July. Russian media portrayed the trip as a sign that the Kremlin is a power broker in the Middle East, while a Pentagon spokesman said the visit showed “the extent to which Mr Putin and Russia are drifting apart”.

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