RUSSIA: On Tuesday, Russia’s Soyuz Rocket blasted off an Iranian satellite called Khayyam from a satellite launch facility in Kazakhstan called Baikonur. The Iranian satellite has derived its name from a Persian scientist named Omar Khayyam, who lived during the 11th and 12th centuries.
While reports and rumours have circulated exposing Russia’s real intentions of spying on Ukraine or gathering other confidential information about the neighbouring country, Iran has strictly dismissed these claims, highlighting that no other country will be able to gain access to the information it gathers due to its encrypted algorithm.
Russian space chief Yury Borisov hailed the project as another milestone in Russian-Iranian “bilateral cooperation” and hoped that “it will open the way to the implementation of new and even larger projects”.
Iran’s Telecommunications Minister Issa Zarepour called the moment “historic” and a “turning point for the start of a new interaction in the field of space between our two countries”.
The satellite will continue to be under Iran’s control and closely monitored for environmental studies gathered via a high-resolution camera that has been fitted into the vessel’s body.
The Iran Space Agency (ISA) revealed how advantageous the satellite would be for the country as its “first telemetric data” will enable monitoring of its rival Israel and other neighbouring countries in the Middle East.
The project comes to the fore at a crucial time when Russian President Vladimir Putin is attempting to engage political and military capital for his “special military operation” against Ukraine, as he met Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran last month.
This is the second satellite launched by Russia. The nation has previously used Moscow’s Plesetsk cosmodrome to deploy Tehran’s Sina-1 satellite in 2005.
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