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Technology for Iran: Russia puts surveillance satellites into space

technology for Iran
Russia launches surveillance satellites

A Russian Soyuz rocket launches 17 probes, including a surveillance satellite built for Tehran. This could initially support Russia in the war in Ukraine. But Iran denies that.

Russia has launched an Iranian satellite that Westerners fear could be used by the Russian army in its war in Ukraine. The launch of the Soyuz rocket carrying the Chayyam satellite from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan was broadcast live by the Russian space agency Roskosmos. The control center later confirmed that the satellite had reached its orbit.

The Washington Post reported last week, citing unnamed Western intelligence officials, that Russia was planning to use the Iranian satellite for “a few months or more.” Iran denied this account. The Islamic Republic will use Chayyam “from day one” itself, the Iranian space agency assured. “No third country is able to access the information,” it said. After all, the satellite has an “encrypted algorithm”.

With Chayyam, Iran wants to “monitor the country’s borders, increase agricultural productivity and monitor water resources and natural disasters,” according to its space agency. Increasingly isolated by Western sanctions over the Ukraine war, Russia is looking to new customers in the Middle East, Asia and Africa for its space industry.

One of his few trips abroad since the start of the Ukraine war took Russian President Vladimir Putin to Tehran in July, where he met Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and the spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Russia is also involved in international negotiations with Iran to revive the nuclear deal aimed at preventing the Islamic Republic from acquiring nuclear weapons. The West fears that Iran could also use its satellite technology for nuclear-capable ballistic missiles. Tehran denies such allegations.

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