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Iran Denies Reports Claiming Russia Will Use its New Satellite in Ukraine War

Iran Denies Reports Claiming Russia Will Use its New Satellite in Ukraine War

Monday, 8 August, 2022 - 09:15
Image released by Iranian state television in June shows Tehran's satellite-carrier rocket Zuljanah blasting off from an undisclosed location. (AP)

Iran announced on Sunday that its satellite, scheduled to be launched by Russia next week, will be under its control "from day one."

Tehran denied the US reports that Moscow would use the satellite as part of its war against Ukraine.

Russia will launch a satellite on behalf of Iran into space on Aug. 9. The spacecraft, a remote sensing satellite called "Khayyam," will be sent into orbit by a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur space station in Kazakhstan.

The Iranian Space Organization stressed that the satellite would be under its supervision from "day one" it is put into orbit.

"All orders related to the control and operation of this satellite will be carried out and issued from day one and immediately after launch by Iranian experts based in Iran' bases," the Agency said in a statement.

It dismissed the claims as "untrue" and said, "no third country is able to access the information" sent by satellite due to its "encrypted algorithm."

The Washington Post quoted Western intelligence officials that Russia will use this satellite for several months for military purposes related to its invasion of Ukraine before handing it over to Tehran.

A report by the newspaper on Aug 4 claimed that Russia "plans to use the satellite for several months or longer" to assist its war efforts in Ukraine before allowing Iran to take control.

It added, quoting unnamed Western intelligence officials, that Iran may not be able to supervise the satellite from the beginning but that Russia "plans to use the satellite for several months, or longer, to enhance its surveillance of military targets in that conflict."

The announcement of the satellite came after the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Iran on July 19.

In June 2021, Putin denied US press reports about Russia's intention to provide an advanced satellite system for Iran to improve its surveillance.

Iranian space activities often receive condemnation from Western countries due to fears that Tehran will resort to enhancing its expertise in the field of ballistic missiles by launching satellites into space.

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