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. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    In this instance, Senator McCain was absolutely correct.

    February 4, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. whitecrow12013

    Here's a joke if he is willing to go there. Can we leave ass up there? LOL Save the world a lot of grief

    February 4, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. saywhat

    John McCain & his kind up on the Hill who are responsible for landing us & keeping us stuck in the mess we are in today should be the ones heading up there for permanent residence.

    February 4, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. saywhat

    When US acting sanely for once where Iran is concerned, indicates an essential dialogue between the two countries there are those who would try to sabotage efforts in this direction.

    February 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dazzle ©

    I say go for it Ahmadinejad and don't return.

    February 4, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. KEVIN21261

    Who's the Irish-Jewish guy standing next to him?

    February 4, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • shaun

      He is Persian and is the head of the aerospace industry of Iran now you western terrorists could send someone to terror him and his family...

      February 5, 2013 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |
    • KEVIN21261

      shaun, how did he get red hair? I think Ireland is involved with this conspiracy to destroy Israel.

      February 5, 2013 at 4:46 am | Report abuse |
  7. AMS

    McCain has been to space in Colberts Green Screen challenge too...lol!. Stop taking bribes from NRA McCain.

    February 4, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bribarian

    Ahmadinejad is an international celebrity and hero.

    February 4, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jocho Johnson

    LoL Senator McCain made a funny

    February 4, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. rabbani

    Amazing reading these comments. It really is easy to dumb down people with media

    February 4, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    How divided do USA citizens want our house to be?
    Is it impossible for a member of another political party to do anything correctly?
    Wow...talk about all just get along...

    February 4, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. larch Boggett

    Dang, you stole my line!

    February 4, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)"Right Wing Insanity"

    Nobody asked him to go to hell yet?

    February 4, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. hashaam ud din

    John McCain comments need not be replied. He knows this himself.

    February 4, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. banasy©

    Not me, not chrissy, not dazzle.
    Just a very bored person with a imagination, because that's all he has.

    February 4, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
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