Iran has denied media reports suggesting that Russia will briefly maintain control of an Iranian satellite that will be sent into space next week from a Russian space station in Kazakhstan.
In a Sunday statement, the Iranian Space Agency (ISA) rejected the reports and said that the Khayyam satellite will be fully controlled by Iranian experts and technicians based inside Iran from the very beginning of its launch on August 9.
The statement said that access to the satellite for any other country or entity other than Iran will be impossible because it is equipped with encrypted algorithms designed by ISA’s researchers.
The statement came after a report on the website of the American newspaper the Washington Post claimed that Russia, which is responsible for the launch of Khayyam from its Baikonur space station, will use the Khayyam satellite for its own purposes in an ongoing military conflict in Ukraine.
“Some of the rumors published about the use of images of this satellite for military purposes by other countries are not true,” said the ISA statement.
It added that imagery from Khayyam will be used to improve Iran’s capabilities in management and planning in the fields of agriculture, natural resources, environment, mining, border monitoring and natural disasters.
It said, however, that Iranian military forces will pursue their own unique path in obtaining the satellite imagery required for their technical and strategic needs.
Khayyam, after whom the new Iranian satellite has been named, was an 11th-century Iranian scientists and poet who was known for his astronomical discoveries and innovations.
Iranian authorities had said earlier that they decided to commission the Russian Soyuz rocket in Baikonur for the launch of Khayyam because of the heavy weight of the satellite and to ensure the launch will be successful.