Iran has dismissed media reports that Russia intends to use the Iranian satellite Khayyam to assist the invasion of Ukraine before giving its control to the Islamic Republic.
The public relations office of Iran's Space Agency said Sunday the satellite will be fully operated and controlled by the Islamic Republic from inside Iran once launched into space by Russia.
It said that all the operations of the satellite, dubbed “Khayyam” after a 12th-century Persian polymath, will be controlled by Iranian engineers and researchers from a space base belonging to the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology immediately after reaching the orbit, adding that data management stations of the satellite are also in Iran.
Emphasizing that the satellite has no military function, the agency added that sending commands and receiving information from this satellite is done according to the encrypted algorithms that have already been embedded in it, and no third country has access to this information.
The agency made the remarks in reaction to a report by The Washington Post that quoted two Western security officials as saying that Moscow intends to use the satellite that it will launch on Iran's behalf for its own war effort in Ukraine before relinquishing its control to Tehran. They also said the satellite will greatly enhance Tehran’s ability to spy on military targets across the Middle East, including near-continuous monitoring of sensitive facilities in Israel and across the Persian Gulf.
Russia's Roscosmos space agency announced August 9 as the launch date of the satellite by a Russian Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur space station in Kazakhstan.