Iran has launched an English satellite television news channel in hopes of giving what Tehran says is an alternate view to Western media coverage.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke at a ceremony Monday marking the inauguration of the channel, which will focus on Middle East news.

He said the network should stand behind oppressed nations but not make up news in their favor.

The state-owned channel, called Press TV, says on its Web site that it aims to "break the global media stranglehold of Western outlets."

The channel also says it is the first international Iran-based news network to broadcast in English on a 24-hour cycle.

Press TV has bureaus and staff around the world, including in the Middle East and the United States.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.