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Iran says US claims that its new satellite is for spying are ‘childish’

In this handout photo taken from video released by Roscosmos on August 9, 2022, a Russian Soyuz rocket lifts off to carry Iranian Khayyam satellite into orbit at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome near Baikonur, Kazakhstan. (Roscosmos via AP)
In this handout photo taken from video released by Roscosmos on August 9, 2022, a Russian Soyuz rocket lifts off to carry Iranian Khayyam satellite into orbit at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome near Baikonur, Kazakhstan. (Roscosmos via AP)

Iran dismisses as “childish” claims by the United States that an Iranian satellite launched by Russia is intended for spying.

The satellite, called Khayyam, was launched into space yesterday on a Soyuz-2.1b rocket from the Russian-controlled Baikonur Cosmodrome in neighboring Kazakhstan. 

Responding to the launch, Washington said Russia’s growing cooperation with Iran should be viewed as a “profound threat.”

“We are aware of reports that Russia launched a satellite with significant spying capabilities on Iran’s behalf,” a US State Department spokesperson said.

The head of Iran’s Space Agency, Hassan Salarieh, tells reporters that the spying allegation is “basically childish.”

“Sometimes, some comments are made to incite tensions; saying that we want to spy with the Khayyam satellite… is basically childish,” he says. “The Khayyam satellite is entirely designed and built to meet the needs of the country in crisis and urban management, natural resources, mines, agriculture and so on.”

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