Report: Iran sets up center to monitor objects passing in orbit overhead

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Iran's media says that it has set up its first center to monitor objects passing in orbit overhead.

A Sunday report by the semi-official Irna news agency quotes Defense Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi as saying the center will continuously track objects moving in space, and that it is ready to share data with other countries.

The report said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was present at the inauguration of the center located near the town of Delijan some 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of Tehran.

Iran frequently announces technological breakthroughs that cannot be independently verified. It has long pursued space ambitions aimed at putting its own satellite into orbit and a manned space flight.

The U.S. and its allies worry that the same technology could also be used to develop long-range missiles.