Iran's satellite Khayyam successfully launched into orbit by Russian rockettext_fields
Moscow: An Iranian satellite was successfully put into orbit on Tuesday by a Russian rocket.
At 8:52 a.m. Moscow time (05:52 GMT) on Tuesday, the Soyuz rocket launched from the Baikonur launch complex in Kazakhstan, which is under lease to Russia.
It launched the Iranian satellite, Khayyam, into orbit nine minutes after that. It has the name of the Persian scientist Omar Khayyam, who lived in the 11th and 12th centuries.
The high-resolution camera-equipped satellite, according to Iran, will be used for environmental monitoring and will be completely under its control.
Tehran asserted that the information it collects will only be used for civil purposes and that no other country will have access to it, but there have been allegations that Russia may do just that as part of its military action in Ukraine, the Associated Press reported.
If the satellite is effective, Iran will be able to keep an eye on its arch-enemy Israel and other Middle Eastern nations.
Iranian state television broadcast live video of the launch while mentioning that the nation's minister of communications was there for the liftoff in Kazakhstan.
State media reported that the satellite would deliver high-resolution surveillance photographs with a definition of one metre per pixel, citing Iran's civilian space agency. While U.S. spy satellites are thought to have even better definitions, Western civilian satellites provide around half a metre each pixel.
The United States worries that Iran's civilian and military space programmes could be exploited to improve its ballistic missile programme. But in recent years, Iran has experienced several disasters and unsuccessful satellite launches.