By Neelam Rahim
An Iranian satellite launched by Russia blasted off Kazakhstan early on Tuesday. It went into orbit amid controversy that Moscow might use it to improve its surveillance of military targets in Ukraine.
Radio Islam International is joined in discussion by Human Rights Journalist Andy Vermaut.
Regarding the concerns expressed by the US on the launch of this satellite, Andy said US officials told the Washington Post last that they were concerned that Moscow would use the satellites to spy on troop movements in Ukraine.
According to Andy, Iranian officials say they control the satellite ultimately. Russia has struggled to keep their military objectives in Ukraine. According to Moscow’s agency, they told Iran they plan to maintain control of the satellite for several months to help in the war in Ukraine.
He says the satellite could provide Iran and Russia with monitoring troop movements and military bases in Ukraine.
Andy tells Radio Islam there is already co-operation between Russia and Iran as they are already strategic allies. They formed together with Romania.
“Iran and Russia are military allies in Syria, Iraq and also partners in Afghanistan. Because of the economic sanctions against Iran, Russia has emerged as a key trading partner.”
“The strategic partnership has been there for a long time.”
Meanwhile, Andy says the perspective of the Russians and Iranians on the purpose of the satellite. Iran has stated that it will be used with environmental monitoring and remain under Iran’s control.
Iran space agency reports that they have already received the first satellite data, which they say will be used for agricultural purposes.
Listen to the full interview on Radio Islam’s podcast below.