Russia is preparing to provide Iran with an advanced satellite that will enable it to track potential military targets in the Middle East, the Reuters agency reported, citing the Washington Post.
There are plans to deliver the Russian Kanopus-V satellite equipped with a high-resolution camera, which could be launched into orbit within the next few months.
Reuters agency stressed that information on this matter was published for a few days ahead of the meeting in Geneva of US and Russian presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin., and at a time when Iran and the United States are in talks to relaunch the 2015 agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program in return for easing economic sanctions.
Monitoring of Israeli and Iraqi bases
The satellite would enable constant monitoring of facilities ranging from oil refineries in the Persian Gulf and Israeli military bases to Iraqi barracks where American soldiers are stationed, the Washington Post reported, citing three anonymous interlocutors and quoted by Reuters.
The Kanopus-V is intended for civilian use, but the Iranians want it for military purposes. The leaders of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have made several trips to Russia since 2018 to help negotiate this deal.
Russian experts reportedly traveled to Iran this spring to help train crews to operate the satellite from a newly built facility near Karaj, west of Tehran. The satellite will be equipped with Russian equipment. Washington Post interlocutors stressed that “this would be a significant improvement over Iran’s current capabilities, although still far from the quality achieved by American spy satellites.”
The Kanopus B satellites are designed for remote Earth sounding. Since 2012, they have been used, among others, by the Russian space agency Roskosmos, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, and the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Main photo source: Roscosmos