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Iranian Satellite Completes Mission

The Safir Omid rocket, which carried the Omid satellite into orbit

TEHRAN (Reuters) -- Iran's first domestically produced satellite has successfully completed its tasks in space, state television said, seven weeks after the Islamic republic sent it into orbit.

Iran launched a research and telecoms satellite called Omid on February 3, a step that worried Western powers, who fear the Islamic republic is seeking to build a nuclear bomb and missile-delivery systems.

Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil producer, says its nuclear work is to generate electricity, and the satellite launch was for peaceful purposes.

The long-range ballistic technology used to put satellites into orbit could also be used to launch warheads.

"The Omid satellite, by successfully carrying out all its tasks, completed its mission," state television said.

Omid sent and received signals, while orbiting earth more than 700 times, state television quoted an expert involved in the project as saying, without giving further detail.

"It carried out all tasks...without any parts of it making any mistakes," said the expert, who was identified only with his last name, Ebrahimi. The satellite would stay in space for another 37-38 days before returning to earth, he added.

Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Soleimani last month said Iranian scientists were manufacturing seven more satellites.