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. dreamer96

    If Ahmadinejad really wants to travel into outer space the US Air Force could modify a ICBM missile, and send him there...
    No problem at all....

    February 4, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Johnny


    February 5, 2013 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. Joel-B

    Ahmadinejad "LOST IN SPACE" !!! GOD IS GOOD !!!!

    February 5, 2013 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. faisal rehman

    hahaha why making fun yar let them do what they like send monkey or elephant why americans feel insecure about it every country wants to develop and go forward doesnt matter how bad they look they are trying atleast.

    February 5, 2013 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |
    • BigR

      Good point.

      February 5, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. azmatKhani

    Mr looser Mcain,
    you are just a senator of a small state with a history of 200 hundred years and he is a President of a country which has a rich cultural history of thousands of years. one should look in the at him self before
    calling sombody a monkey.Let him do what he likes and not like you to get captured by his own mistake and inexperience
    At least he is not a looser like you. sir I mean you no disrespect.

    February 5, 2013 at 5:38 am | Report abuse |
    • BigR

      Very good point and true, but both are losers.

      February 5, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Brian

    the sad thing is he doesn't realize he's already in outer space

    February 5, 2013 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
  7. Brian

    Iranian language is PERSIAN. "Farsi" is a local dialect name. Widely known, but that's not proper linguistics.

    February 5, 2013 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
    • fireitup

      Actually lived in Iran from 1969 thru 73, went back thru 75. They did refer to their language as Farsi. English has different dialects as well.

      February 6, 2013 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  8. ronvan

    Let him go and hope that the return trip fails!!!!

    February 5, 2013 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. Truth Hurts, Doesn't it?

    Nice replacement for the monkey.

    February 5, 2013 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  10. aly marei

    I love it, Ahmadenijad visits Egypt, the 1st Iranian visit in 35 years and no mention on CNN site except for stupid Monkey space story. Are you people for REAL??? Shameful

    February 5, 2013 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • M.A.P. (Mothers Against Poo)

      Try reasing the Middle east section, idiot.

      February 5, 2013 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. semper fi

    The rocket is waiting....climb abroad. I have the match.

    February 5, 2013 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  12. steve

    "No thanks, Mr. Ahmadinejad, we already sent one monkey into space."

    February 5, 2013 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  13. Big Reggie

    Their President should not into space. If he did it would leave country helplesss.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. pop

    You should do it seriously.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. lola star

    we dont need him we already sent a monkey

    February 5, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • timmy

      we don't need to send the monster to space we already send the monkey.

      February 5, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • fireitup

      With you there, but the monkey is cuter

      February 6, 2013 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
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