Russia could soon provide Iran with a high-powered satellite that would allow it to track military targets across the region, it has emerged.
The Russian-made Kanopus-V satellite, which has a high-resolution camera, could be delivered to Tehran and launched within a few months, according to the Washington Post.
The satellite would allow Iran to monitor its main adversaries in the Middle East, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, as well as US forces in Iraq, according to officials in the region.
“It’s not the best in the world, but it’s high-resolution and very good for military aims,” an unnamed Middle Eastern “official” told the Washington Post.
“This capability will allow Iran to maintain an accurate target bank, and to update that target bank within a few hours [every day],” they added.
Russia’s foreign ministry did not respond to a request for comment from the Washington Post. The Russian space agency declined to comment.
It came as Israel’s former Mossad chief warned Iran’s nuclear scientists that they would be assassinated unless they changed careers.
Yossi Cohen, who retired as Mossad’s director last week, said Iranian researchers who abandoned their work on the nuclear programme would be “spared” in some cases.
“If the scientist is willing to change careers and will not hurt us anymore, then yes, sometimes we offer [to spare] them,” he told Channel 12.
Israel is widely believed to have assassinated the head of Iran’s nuclear research programme last year, though neither the government nor Mossad has never claimed responsibility for the attack.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was reportedly gunned down by a satellite-controlled machine gun as he travelled through Iran.
Mossad, Israel’s equivalent of MI6, has also been linked to a series of attacks on Iranian nuclear assets, including the Natanz centrifuge facility, which was mysteriously sabotaged in July 2020.
Mr Cohen declined to confirm whether Mossad carried out the Natanz assault, but did acknowledge that the facility “doesn’t look like it used to look”.
He went on to confirm that Mossad played a key role in negotiating the Abraham Accords, a series of normalisation treaties with Arab states including the United Arab Emirates.
He admitted that talks with Emirati officials had got off to a rocky start due to Mossad’s assassination of a Hamas commander in a hotel in Dubai in 2010.
“Clearly this issue had to be on the table, and it was. And we took care of it,” he said.