Russia will provide Iran with cutting-edge satellite: Washington Post

June 12, 2021 - 8:26

TEHRAN — According to the Washington Post, Russia is planning to equip Iran with an advanced satellite that will allow it to track possible military targets across West Asia.

According to the Post, the plan would provide a Russian-made Kanopus-V satellite outfitted with a high-resolution camera, which could be launched from Russia within months.

The report was published only days before U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Geneva, and as Iran and the U.S. engage in indirect discussions to resurrect a 2015 nuclear deal aimed to limit Iran's nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

According to the paper, the satellite would allow "continuous monitoring of facilities ranging from Persian Gulf oil refineries and Israeli military bases to Iraqi barracks that house U.S. troops," citing three unnamed sources - a current and former U.S. official, as well as a senior West Asian government official briefed on the sale.

While the Kanopus-V is promoted for civilian use, officers of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps have traveled to Russia numerous times since 2018 to help negotiate the arrangement, according to the Post.

Russian scientists flew to Iran this spring to assist in the training of crews who would operate the satellite from a newly built station near Karaj, west of Tehran, according to the report.

According to the Post, the satellite would be equipped with Russian hardware, including "a camera with a resolution of 1.2 meters — a major advance over Iran's current capabilities, but still well short of the quality obtained by US espionage satellites."

The IRGC said in April 2020 that they had successfully launched the country's first military satellite into orbit, prompting then-U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to demand that Tehran be held accountable because the move violated a UN Security Council resolution.


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