TEHRAN, June 9 (UPI) -- Iran Sunday opened its first space tracking center to monitor the orbital traffic of other countries and secure the country's space facilities, officials said.
At the inauguration ceremony of the Imam Sadeq Center some 125 miles south of Tehran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the center a great achievement, Iranian state media IRNA reported.
"In line with the realization of providing space security and the country's space systems, we need to monitor all the heavenly bodies passing our airspace regularly. Data provided by space surveillance systems is not only used for our own satellites' guiding, but it will also be useful for monitoring orbital traffic of countries who have the technology," Iran's Mehr News Agency quoted Iran's Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi saying.
"Currently international conventions coordinate the exchange and sharing of surveillance data. Sharing such data provides the opportunity for us to be online in the network and use the data from other surveillance systems worldwide," Vahidi said.