PUTIN IT IN ORBIT: Russia Launches New Iranian Satellite Amid Spying Concerns
This is the moment Russia launches an Iranian space satellite that US officials believe could allow Iran to spy on its Middle East neighbours and help Russia in Ukraine.
The Russian Soyuz rocket carried a remote sensing satellite called Khayyam from the Baikonur Cosmodrone in southern Kazakhstan on 9th August 2022, blasting off at 8:52am GMT+3.
The footage showing the launch was obtained by Newsflash from the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, on Tuesday, 9th August.
The Iranian Space Agency released a statement on 7th August 2022 saying that the satellite will be controlled by Iranian officials from the moment it is launched.
The agency added: “No other country will have access to such information, and rumours about using satellite images for another country’s military purposes are false.”
This is amid concerns reported in the Washington Post last week stating that US officials are concerned about the burgeoning ties between Russia and Iran with regard to space cooperation between the two countries.
According to the publication, officials in the US are concerned that the satellite could help Russia in Ukraine and provide it with unparalleled abilities to monitor military targets in Israel and the greater Middle East.
Despite this, the Iranian space agency maintained its position and stated that the satellite will be used to survey water resources, improve productivity in the agricultural sector, monitor mining missions and border areas as well as manage deforestation.
Iranian Communications and Information Technology Minister Issa Zarepour stated that the move will usher in a period of strategic cooperation between Russia and Iran.
The Baikonur Cosmodrone is the main operations centre for Russian space launches and is the home of several historic flights including the first crewed orbital flight carrying the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, in 1961.