Russian President Vladimir Putin denied a US media report on Friday that Moscow will provide Iran with an advanced satellite system that will greatly improve its espionage capabilities.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that Moscow is preparing for it to provide Iran with a Canopus V satellite with a high resolution camera that will enable the Islamic Republic to monitor facilities of its opponents across the Middle East.
Putin, who is expected to meet in Geneva on Wednesday will hear a number of complaints from US President Joe Biden, dismissing the report as « rubbish. » « We have cooperation plans with Iran, including military and technical cooperation, » he told NBC News in an interview the summit.
“This is just fake news. At least I don’t know anything about something like that, whoever talks about it may know more about it. It’s just nonsense, garbage. «
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Biden, who is on his first overseas tour since entering the White House, is expected to file a number of complaints with Putin, including election interference and hacker attacks allegedly linked to Russia.
The Washington report Post said that while Iran is technically a civilian satellite, it would provide the ability to continuously monitor locations ranging from Israeli army facilities to U.S. military bases to Saudi oil refineries, officials said unnamed officials said the move was a huge leap in the Iranians’ technical capabilities and would give them « unprecedented ability to monitor Israeli military bases, strategic locations and potential targets across the Middle East. »
The Post reported that the satellite will be delivered in the next few months and launched by Russia.
An official from the Middle East told the Post that the Kanopus-V would be equipped with Russian hardware, including a 1.2 meter resolution camera – a significant improvement over Iran’s current capabilities, albeit still way below the quality of US spy satellites or commercial providers of satellite imagery.
However, Iran could « commission » the new satellite to spy on places of its choosing, as often as it wanted, officials said.
« It’s not the best in the world, however it’s high definition and very good for military use, « the Middle East official told the Post. « This ability will allow Iran to maintain an accurate target bank and update that target bank within a few hours every day. »
The official also said that Iran is sharing the images with its terrorist agents across the region can, like Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen and Iraq, operating militias.
Iran has intensified its efforts to establish a satellite program in recent years. In April 2020, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard launched its first satellite into space, dramatically revealing what experts called a secret military space program.
The Washington Post said senior Revolutionary Guard officials have made several trips to Russia since 2018 to clarify the conditions to negotiate the agreement to buy the satellite while Russian experts were in Iran to train ground personnel who would operate the satellite from a newly built one near the northern city of Karaj.
The Guard, who ran parallel to the regular ones Iranian armed forces operate their own military infrastructure, is a hardline force that reports only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The report comes when the US is in indirect talks with Tehran about re-entering the nuclear deal with Iran involved, and before a meeting between US President Joe Biden and the Russian F O ur Vladimir Putin.
In the past, the US and Israel have condemned Iran’s satellite efforts for opposing a UN Security Council resolution calling on Iran not to engage in ballistic missile-related activities Can supply nuclear weapons.
Kan said Israel hoped the US would raise the issue of the satellite in nuclear talks. Washington also wanted to extend the deal to include control of Tehran’s ballistic missile program, which Iran opposes.
Iran, which has long declared that it does not seek nuclear weapons, previously maintained its satellite launches and missile tests that have no military component to have. The guard, which launches its own satellite, questions this.
Months after the Noor launched, Russia defended Iran’s right to launch a satellite and rejected U.S. claims that Tehran was in violation of the UN Resolution advocating the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers by sending it into space.
Russia’s UN Ambassador Wassily Nebenzia said that “the continued attempts by the US to deprive Iran of its rights to reap the benefits of peaceful space technology under false pretenses is cause for grave concern and deep regret ”.
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