Russia’s Soyuz rocket blew up an Iranian satellite named Khayyam from the Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan on Tuesday.
The Iranian satellite is named after the Persian scientist Omar Khayyam, who lived in the 11th and 12th centuries.
While it has been alleged that Russia could use it to monitor Ukraine amid its military crackdown, Iran has said that no other country will have access to the information it collects because of its encrypted algorithms.
Describing the satellite launch as “an important milestone in Russian-Iranian bilateral cooperation”, Russian space chief Yuri Borisov said, “It will open the way for implementation of new and even bigger projects.”
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The satellite, which will be completely under Iran’s control, is fitted with a high-resolution camera that will be used for environmental monitoring.
Calling it “a turning point for the start of a new dialogue in the field of space between our two countries”, Iran’s Telecommunications Minister Issa Zarepour said the event was “historic”.
The Iran Space Agency (ISA) said it has received “the first telemetric data” from the satellite that will give the country the ability to monitor its arch enemy Israel and other countries in the Middle East.
It comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin, one of his few visits abroad since the February 24 invasion, met Iranian counterpart Ibrahim Raisi and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran last month.
This is not the first Iranian satellite that Russia has put into space since Moscow’s Plesetsk Cosmodrome deployed Tehran’s Sina-1 satellite in 2005.
(with inputs from agencies)
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