Russia will provide Iran with a sophisticated satellite, which will significantly improve the Islamic Republic’s spy capabilities, the US daily Washington Post reported today.
The Kanopus-V satellite, with a high-resolution camera, will allow Iran to monitor its opponents’ facilities across the Middle East, the paper explains, citing officials currently or previously in positions in the United States or the Middle East.
The information was released a few days before the summit scheduled for June 16 in Geneva between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart, Joe Biden, who is making his first trip abroad since taking office in January.
This could be another complaint by Washington against Moscow, on a list that includes accusations of electoral interference or computer piracy.
The launch of the satellite, which could take place in the coming months, is the result of several trips to Russia by leaders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, an elite force of the armed forces of the Islamic Republic, the Washington Post said.
According to sources in the American daily, the satellite will be launched from Russia and contains material manufactured in that country.
Although it does not have the resources of US satellites, the Kanopus-V can be used by Iran to spy on specific locations, which raises fears about sharing information with Yemen, Iraq or Lebanon, as well as others about development of unmanned planes (‘drones’) and ballistic missiles across Tehran, according to one of the officials questioned by the newspaper.
The Washington Post also indicates that Russian trainers trained teams to use the satellite at facilities near the city of Karaj in northern Iran.
Buying the satellite will give Tehran greater surveillance capability over the Gulf, Israeli bases and the US military presence in Iraq.