As Iran pats itself on the back for the successful launch and return of a monkey into orbit and the West tries to dispute that it ever happened, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said he wants to be the first Iranian man to go into space!
Ahmadinejad made the intrepid announcement at an exhibition of Iran’s space achievements that has taken place in Tehran this week. According to reports from several Iranian news agencies, Ahmadinejad said: “I’m ready to be the first Iranian to sacrifice myself for our country’s scientists…sending living things into space is the result of Iranian efforts and the dedication of thousands of Iranian scientists.”
Reuters, among others, have said that it is hard to determine just how serious Ahmadinejad is about being the first Iranian man to go into space, because is a leader who is known for his fondness for making outlandish and eccentric statements. One thing is clear however, that Iran is serious about advancing their space program. Ahmadinejad has already said he wants to send an astronaut into space by the year 2020 and put a man on the moon by the year 2025.
Iran’s interest in developing their space program is something that many Western nations are threatened by however, because they fear the space technology being developed could be used to construct long-range ballistic missiles.