MOSCOW (Dispatches) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed as “fake news” a report by the Washington Post that Moscow was preparing to supply Iran with an advanced satellite system that would enable Tehran to track potential military targets across the Middle East and beyond.
“It’s just fake news. At the very least, I don’t know anything about this kind of thing,” Putin said in an exclusive interview with NBC News on Friday.
“Those who are speaking about it probably will maybe know more about it. It’s just nonsense, garbage,” the Russian president added.
The Washington Post quoted current and former U.S. and Middle Eastern officials as claiming that the plan would deliver to the Iranians a Russian-made Kanopus-V satellite equipped with a high-resolution camera that would greatly enhance Iran’s spying capabilities, allowing continuous monitoring of facilities ranging from Persian Gulf oil refineries and Zionist military bases to Iraqi barracks that house U.S. troops.
The officials said launch of the satellite could happen within months, claiming that it is the result of multiple trips to Russia by commanders of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
Back in December, Iran’s Ambassador to Moscow Kazem Jalali said that Iran and Russia would maintain military cooperation and that the United States’ sanctions would have no impact on Tehran’s military capabilities or its scientific research.
“This behavior of the United States will continue in the future, and the reason is that the U.S. no longer enjoys the dominance of the past,” Jalali said.
Last year, Russia defended Iran’s right to peaceful space technology,
dismissing claims by the United States that the launch of the country’s first-ever military satellite into the orbit had violated United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorses a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major world powers.
Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, in a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the Security Council, said that “the ongoing attempts of the United States side to deprive Iran of the right to reap the benefits of peaceful space technology under false pretexts are a cause for serious concern and profound regret.”