Russian authorities on Tuesday, Aug. 9, oversaw the launch from Kazakhstan of an Iranian satellite, named “Khayyam,” into orbit.

The launch of the Iranian satellite “Khayyam’ on a Soyuz-2.1b rocket booster, on Aug. 9, 2022. Photo courtesy of Tasnim News Agency.

The launch comes just weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian leader Ali Khamenei pledged to cooperate against the West.

Iranian Information and Communications Technology Minister Isa Zarepour, who attended the launch, stated the development marked the “beginning of strategic cooperation between Iran and Russia in the space industry,” reported Iran’s semi-official Tasnim News Agency.

“The high-resolution images (taken by “Khayyam”) could be used to improve the space applications in the country in the environmental and agricultural sectors,” Zarepour was quoted as saying.

The Washington Post has reported that U.S. officials are concerned the satellite will allow Iran to monitor sensitive sites and potential targets in Israel and the broader Middle East, in addition to helping Moscow wage war against Ukraine.

Zarepour dismissed the Post’s report as “untrue.”