The head of Iran's space agency says his country is interested in cooperating with NASA.

Mohsen Bahrami said Tuesday that "many in the world look at NASA's programs. We are interested in having cooperation, naturally. When you are in orbit, there is no country and race."

It is the first time Iran has expressed such interest since signing last summer's landmark nuclear deal with world powers.

Bahrami says cooperation will only be possible with the agreement of leaders of both countries. He says Iran has a peaceful and powerful civil space program.

Iran has long harbored ambitions to launch satellites to monitor natural disasters in the earthquake-prone nation. The U.S. and its allies are concerned the same technology could be used to develop long-range missiles.