Sunday, April 20, 2014


Transmission

Ahmadinejad Offers To Be Iran's First Astronaut; McCain Draws 'Monkey' Comparison

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad (far right, front) visits an exhibition of space technology during a ceremony to mark Iran's National Day of Space Technology in Tehran on February 4.
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad (far right, front) visits an exhibition of space technology during a ceremony to mark Iran's National Day of Space Technology in Tehran on February 4.
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As Mahmud Ahmadinejad enters the twilight of his roller-coaster presidency, and with speculation rife that he intends to cling to influence as best he can, the two-term president and former Tehran mayor continues to shoot for the stars.

At a meeting to introduce two Iranian-made satellites and mark Iran's National Day of Space Technology widely cited by news agencies, the 56-year-old former civil-engineering student suggested he could be his country's first astronaut.

At the same meeting, he was quoted as saying Iran's "youth" hoped "to send a man into space within the next four [or] five years."

"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," AFP quoted Ahmadinejad as saying, via Iran's ISNA news agency.

Ahmadinejad's apparent quip follows debate over the veracity of Iran's claim last week that it had successfully launched a monkey into space and it returned safely, and with tough scrutiny being given a fresh announcement by Tehran that it had made a "significant" breakthrough in stealth technology with a domestically built fighter jet.

U.S. Senator John McCain (Republican, Arizona), who has consistently been among the most hawkish U.S. officials with respect to Iran's leadership, responded to Ahmadinejad's astronaut comment by equating the Iranian president with a monkey:




The former Republican presidential nominee subsequently sought to deflect possible criticism that his remarks might be inappropriate, tweeting:


One of the first U.S. officials to chide McCain for the tweet was a fellow Republican, Representative Justin Amash of Michigan. After commenting that "I can't believe he hasn't deleted it & apologized yet," Amash suggested there was racism behind the senior senator's statement:


In 2010, Iran reportedly launched a rocket carrying a mouse, a turtle, and worms. A launch in 2011 ended in the death of the monkey strapped inside the rocket.

Ahmadinejad won his second term in 2009 in a hotly contested vote that prompted charges of widescale fraud and polarized swaths of the electorate.

Some observers regard a recent change to Iran's election laws as an effort to forestall the outgoing president or his allies from wielding undue influence over future elections, including the presidential vote in June.

He used an appearance before the parliament this weekend to attack the brother of a powerful former presidential candidate and current speaker of parliament, Ali Larijani.

-- Andy Heil
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Timo from: Prague
February 04, 2013 18:41
I support the initiative. Ali Khamenei should be shot to the space as well!

by: Ben
February 05, 2013 11:00
Liberals try to defend the totalitarian Islamic Iran.How do they do it?
McCain is "hawkish" toward the leader promising to destroy the country,some rep. of Arabian descend calls him "racist"( because he is white?). Liberas with the short memory doesn`t remember the heroic efforts of USSR" to catch up America" and it`s sacrifices of the process.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
February 05, 2013 17:44
:-)) Aha, I see that Sen. McCain is not inclined to take a rest after his series of impressive victories: first he won the Vientam War, then he defeated George W. Obama in the 2008 presidential election, then in 2012 he skillfully ousted Vladimir Putin out of the Kremlin and became a Russian Emperor himself, and now the guy finds the time - inspite of his busy schedule - to make jokes about foreign leaders. The next thing he'll do will be starting a comical show on one of the US TV channel - a worthy representative of his nation of high achievers :-)).
In Response

by: Ben
February 05, 2013 19:42
RFER -faithful Obama-international-it`s propaganda supported by some international team that i`ve called the "displaced persons":Jack( Yasha now) from US,Vakhtang from Moscow,Ratio from Earth,Konstantin from LA,Eugenio(!) from Vienna and others-the moderator was frightened last time and baned my information.Let us wait when RFERL will recover of it`s fears.

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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