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. ME

    Dont send a monkley to space.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ME

    Dont send a mokey to space

    February 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. A z

    Once again that old fart us senator opens his mouth,

    February 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bob

    that would be awesome

    February 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. rehabmax

    Any number of agencies would be willing to rocket that guy out of the earth.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. rehabmax

    What an offer. Any number of of agencies would be glad to rocket that guy off the earth.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. krehator

    Please go, and someone ensure he does not come back.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bruce Rubin

    I will pay for his one way ticket personally

    February 5, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Culpepper

    Iran should has sent Ahmedinejad into space first ahead of the monkey, to make sure their rocket was safe for the monkey. After all, you don't want to risk the life of a perfectly good monkey.

    February 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. BigR

    He looked really good in his little astronaut outfit. One wart was missing on his face upon return.

    February 5, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. thetruthandnothingbutthetruth

    he should go and take the monkey looking supreme nut job with him

    February 5, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. thetruthandnothingbutthetruth

    a message to him and the supreme nut job in farsi. Man mishaasham rooyeh saret taa kaf koneh Rafsanjaani

    February 5, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. joe

    So, send Him into orbit strapped to an ICBM. His tailor too. Put it on Pay-Per-view. I'll watch.

    February 6, 2013 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
  14. fireitup

    The monkey thing has been done already.Build a better mousetrap, what about Mr A and a gorilla go up? Gorilla drops him off on Mars. The Iranian people do not deserve that jerk.

    February 6, 2013 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  15. catherine

    why go into space? run more tests first! your people could get more mad, does he want more shoes thrown?

    February 7, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
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