Russia prepping to give Iran advanced satellite system that will boost military spying capabilities

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Russia is prepping to give Iran an advanced satellite system that would boost its military spying capabilities, current and former U.S. and Middle Eastern officials with knowledge of the situation told The Washington Post.

The Russian-made Kanopus-V satellite with Russian hardware would be launched in Russia with Iran being able to use the satellite to spy on any targets, including U.S. troops in Iraq and military bases in Israel, whenever the country wanted.

The satellite would have a camera resolution of 1.2 meters and would greatly improve the country’s spying capabilities, the three officials who spoke to The Post said.

Since 2018 Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has made trips to Russia to negotiate this deal, and experts from Russia have gone to Iran to train the country’s crews on how to operate the satellite, according to the officials.

The officials said the satellite could be launched in the next few months.

One official says there are concerns Iran will share the satellite information with Iranian militia groups.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a press conference on Friday that he couldn’t confirm The Post’s report and “would not speak to intelligence matters.”

“We are going to remain focused on the malign activities of Iran in the region and sometimes beyond the region,” Kirby said. That includes “their increasing ballistic missile capabilities, their support to terrorist organizations, their efforts to impede freedom of navigation in and around the region.”

The U.S. said Thursday that it would place sanctions on an international network that has ties to one of the militia groups, the Houthi rebels.

The news comes ahead of a highly anticipated first meeting between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

—Updated Friday at 4:33 p.m.

Tags Iran Joe Biden Russia Vladimir Putin
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