Iran denies reports that Moscow will use its new surveillance satellite for war in Ukraine


TEHRAN — Iran said on Sunday it would control “from day one” a satellite due to be launched by Russia in days, dismissing reports that it would initially serve Moscow in its war in Ukraine.

Iran’s remote sensing satellite, named Khayyam, is to be launched Tuesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Russia’s State Space Corporation announced earlier this week.

“All orders related to the control and operation of this satellite will be executed and issued from day one and immediately after launch by Iranian experts based in … Iranian space bases,” the Iranian Space Agency said in a statement. communicated.

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Russia “plans to use the satellite for several months or more” to support its war efforts in Ukraine before allowing Iran to take control, according to unnamed intelligence officials. western.

They added that the satellite will provide Tehran with “unprecedented capabilities, including near-continuous surveillance of sensitive facilities in Israel” and the Gulf.

But Moscow would first use the satellite to “enhance its surveillance of military targets” in the Ukraine conflict, according to the report.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, center, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, greet each other as Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi stands right, during their meeting in Tehran, Iran, July 19, 2022. (Office of Iran’s Supreme Leader via AP)

The Iranian Space Agency dismissed the claims as “false”, adding that “no third country is able to access the information” sent by the satellite due to its “encrypted algorithm”.

The satellite, apparently named after 11th- and 12th-century Persian polymath Omar Khayyam, aims to “monitor the country’s borders”, improve agricultural productivity and monitor water resources and natural disasters, the government said. Iranian agency earlier this week.

The announcement about the new satellite came two weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Tehran.

In June 2021, Putin denied a US media report that Russia was close to providing Iran with an advanced satellite system that will significantly improve its spy capabilities.

Iran insists its space program is for civilian and defense purposes only, and does not violate the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, or any other international agreement.

Western governments fear that satellite launch systems incorporate technologies interchangeable with those used in ballistic missiles capable of delivering a nuclear warhead, which Iran has always denied wanting to build.

Iran successfully launched its first military satellite into orbit in April 2020, drawing a sharp rebuke from the United States. In March, the Revolutionary Guards, the ideological arm of Iran’s armed forces, announced that they had successfully launched a military “reconnaissance satellite”, Nour-2, into orbit.

It’s not (only) about you.

Supporting The Times of Israel is not a transaction for an online service, like subscribing to Netflix. The ToI Community is for people like you who care about a common good: to ensure that balanced and responsible coverage of Israel continues to be freely available to millions of people around the world.

Of course, we’ll remove all ads from your page and you’ll have access to great community-only content. But your support gives you something deeper than that: the pride of joining something that really matters.

Join the Times of Israel community Join our community Already a member? Log in to stop seeing this

You are a dedicated reader

That’s why we started The Times of Israel ten years ago – to provide discerning readers like you with must-read coverage of Israel and the Jewish world.

So now we have a request. Unlike other media, we don’t have a paywall in place. But since the journalism we do is expensive, we invite readers to whom The Times of Israel has become important to support our work by joining The Times of Israel community.

For just $6 a month, you can help support our quality journalism while benefiting from The Times of Israel WITHOUT ADVERTISINGas well as access Exclusive content only available to members of the Times of Israel community.

David Horovitz, founding editor of The Times of Israel

Join our community Join our community Already a member? Log in to stop seeing this


About Author

Comments are closed.