Classifieds | Archives | Jobs | About TGT | Contact | Subscribe
Last updated 36 minutes ago
Printer Friendly Version | TGT@Twitter | RSS Feed |
President wishes to be Iran’s first astronaut
February 05, 2013
 Print    Send to Friend

TEHRAN: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday that he’s ready to take the risk of being the first Iranian astronaut sent into space as part of Iran’s goal of a manned space flight.

“I’m ready to be the first Iranian to sacrifice myself for our country’s scientists,” the official IRNA news agency quoted him as saying in an address to space scientists in Tehran.

“Our youth are determined to send a man into space within the next four, five years and I’m sure that will happen,” he said during a ceremony in Tehran where two new Iranian-made satellites were unveiled, according to ISNA news agency.

“I’m ready to be the first Iranian to be sacrificed by the scientists of my country and go into space, even though I know there are a lot of candidates,” Ahmadinejad quipped.

He added to the buoyant atmosphere, saying he was willing to “auction (himself) and donate” the money to the Iran’s space programme, which has shrunk because of international economic sanctions over Tehran’s controversial nuclear drive, ISNA reported.

Iran, which last week announced it had successfully sent a small monkey into space, has said it wants to send a man into orbit by 2020.

The monkey named “Pishgam,” which means pioneer in Farsi, reportedly travelled 120 kilometres and safely returned to Earth.

Ahmadinejad unveiled on Monday two small satellites, named “Nahid” and “Zohreh” (“Venus” in Farsi and Arabic, respectively).

Space tourist Anousheh Ansari was the first Iranian to make a journey into space aboard a Soyuz TMA-9 capsule from Baikonur, Kazakhastan, in September 2006.

The 40-year-old telecommunications entrepreneur paid a reported $20 million for a space station visit.

Separately, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Monday that he was “optimistic” that the United States was revamping its approach to Tehran in the protracted dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme.

“As I have said yesterday, I am optimistic,” he told a foreign policy think-tank in Berlin.

“I feel this new (US) administration is really this time seeking to at least divert from its previous and traditional approach vis-a-vis my country.”

Salehi had told a security conference in the southern German city of Munich on Sunday that Iran was open to a US offer for bilateral discussions if Washington’s intentions were “authentic.”


Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Post a comment
Related Stories
Iran lodges protest against US visa denial
TEHRAN: Iran has formally protested Washington’s refusal to grant a visa to its new UN ambassador, saying the move damages international diplomacy and sets a “dangerous” ..
Iranian guards start limited drill near Iraq borders
TEHRAN: Iranian state television is reporting that a four-day, limited drill for border guards has begun in five provinces near the Islamic Republic’s border with Iraq. ..
Iran rejects US ban on its envoy to UN
TEHRAN: Iran on Saturday rejected a US decision to deny a visa for its newly appointed ambassador to the United Nations, pledging to take up the case directly with the wo..
Iran defends UN envoy pick, rejects US worry
TEHRAN: Iran on Tuesday defended its appointment of Hamid Aboutalebi as its UN ambassador, brushing aside US concerns over his alleged links to the 1979 US hostage crisis..
All five abducted border guards alive, says Iran
TEHRAN: Iran has said five border guards kidnapped by militants are in good health, disputing a report that one of them had been killed. The guards were seized while patr..
Advertise | Copyright