Just three weeks after President Vladimir Putin and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei agreed to work together against the West, Russia launched an Iranian satellite into orbit from southern Kazakhstan on Tuesday.
The distant Khayyam sensing satellite, named after the 11th century Persian poet and philosopher Omar Khayyam, was launched from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome by a Russian Soyuz rocket and safely entered orbit, according to Russia’s space agency.
According to the official IRNA news agency, Iran’s space agency has received the first telemetry data sent by the satellite.
Tehran has denied Moscow’s suggestion that the satellite will be used to strengthen its intelligence capabilities in Ukraine, claiming that Iran will have complete control and operation of it “from day one.”
According to the Washington Post, US officials are concerned about Russia and Iran’s fledgling space cooperation, fearing that the satellite will not only help Russia in Ukraine, but will also provide Iran with “unprecedented capabilities” to monitor potential military targets in Israel and the wider Middle East.