Ahmadinejad says he is ready to be first Iranian in space

DUBAI Tue Feb 5, 2013 1:47pm EST

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during a media conference at Iran's embassy after he attended the Developing-8 summit in Islamabad November 22, 2012. REUTERS/Mian Khursheed

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during a media conference at Iran's embassy after he attended the Developing-8 summit in Islamabad November 22, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mian Khursheed

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DUBAI (Reuters) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday he was ready to be the first human sent into orbit by Iran's fledgling space program, Iranian media reported.

Iran declared last week that it had successfully launched a monkey into space and retrieved it alive, which officials hailed as a major step towards their goal of sending humans into space.

The launch added to Western concerns about Iran's space program because the same rocket technology could potentially be used to deliver a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile.

"I am ready to be the first human to be sent to space by Iranian scientists," Ahmadinejad said on Monday, on the sidelines of an exhibition of space achievements in Tehran, according to the Mehr news agency.

"Sending living things into space is the result of Iranian efforts and the dedication of thousands of Iranian scientists."

Ahmadinejad is known for provocative public comments and it was unclear whether the suggestion was a serious one.

His second and final term as president ends in August, and his political star has been on the wane since he fell out with parliament early in his second term and appeared to lose the support of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

On Sunday he stood up in parliament to play a tape recording that he said provided evidence of corruption by the family of parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani, his political arch-rival and a likely frontrunner to succeed him as president. Larijani and his brother Fazel denied the accusations.

(This version of the story corrects the end of Ahmadinejad's term to August from June in paragraph seven.)

(Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Marcus George and Kevin Liffey)

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Comments (10)
WildBillWB wrote:
How’s he going to get there,on top of an Israeli mushroom cloud?
All not intended to be funny comments aside, I would like to take this opprtunuity to welcome Iran to the 1950′s.

Feb 05, 2013 5:20pm EST  --  Report as abuse
biojazz wrote:
monkey see, monkey do

Feb 05, 2013 5:33pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jorge62 wrote:
I know the US would gladly send him to space. They would even pay the costs and take one of their shuttles out of mothballs. As for him getting back that would be another matter.

Feb 05, 2013 7:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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