Ahmadinejad jokes he'd volunteer to go to space
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad looks at a space monkey Monday on Iran's National Day of Space Technology in Tehran.
February 4th, 2013
01:47 PM ET

Ahmadinejad jokes he'd volunteer to go to space

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad joked he is so serious about making sure Iran advances technologically that he'd volunteer to go to space for his country if needed.

"I am ready to be the first human to be sent to space by Iranian scientists,” he said after meeting Monday with Iranian space scientists, according to the semi-official Mehr News Agency.

The president's comments, made in jest, came a week after the state's semi-official Fars News Agency said Iran had "sent a monkey to the orbit, brought it back to the Earth and retrieved the animal and the relevant data successfully."

While the reported primate in space caused a celebration in Tehran, the monkey business if it happened didn't play well in Washington.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters last week that while she saw pictures of "the poor little monkey," the United States doesn't "have any way to confirm this (happened), one way or another."

"But our concerns with Iran's development of space launch vehicle technologies are obviously well-known: Any space launch vehicle capable of placing an object in orbit is directly relevant to the development of long-range ballistic missiles," Nuland told reporters.

The chatter about Ahmadinejad caused a bit of a problem for Sen. John McCain,who caught flak on Twitter for drawing a parallel between the Iranian president's statement and the alleged monkey mission.

McCain's tweet spurred some negative comments, leading him to respond that he was just making a joke.

soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. jayakumar

    Why is the guy wearing a mask while holding a perfectly healthy normal monkey? Serves no purpose since the other moneky standing in front of him does not seem to be wearing any. Seems to putting on a big show or he is protecting himself from the contagious piece of human ahmedi****d vomit standing in front of him. ha..ha..

    February 9, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Daniel

    That's probably the funniest thing McCain has ever said..

    February 10, 2013 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
  3. lilly

    shame on you all,actually he is more handsome of your president.

    March 9, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dig Further

    Iranians language is Farsi not Arabic

    February 4, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BigR

    We need to give you a gold medal.

    February 5, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
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