Amid speculation about its uses, a high-resolution Iranian-owned satellite has been launched into space from a base in Kazakhstan on board a Russian rocket.
According to footage aired live by Iranian state television, the remote-sensing Khayyam satellite, which Iran has said it wants to use for non-military purposes, was successfully launched.
The Washington Post earlier this month cited unnamed Western intelligence officials as saying Russia intends to use the satellite “for months or longer” to aid its combat efforts in Ukraine.
The Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, and the Iranian Space Agency (ISA), which claimed last week that it will have exclusive control over the satellite “from day one,” both refute this allegation.
According to the ISA, “no other country has access to the information during this procedure,” meaning that all transmissions to and from the satellite will be encrypted and managed by a team of Iranian engineers and scientists in Iran.
Images from Khayyam, which are expected to have a resolution of one metre, will be used to strengthen “management and planning capacities” across a wide range of sectors, including border monitoring, agriculture, natural resources, environment, water resources, mining, and disaster management, the agency emphasized.