Speaking at a press conference unveiling of two Iranian-made satellites, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad joked that he would like to be the first Iranian in space.
“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,” he said, according to reports in the AFP.
Iran’s fledgling space program seems to be ramping up recently, with another announcement today stating the country would put its first man in space within the next 6 years. Last month the country announced it had successfully sent a monkey into space and returned it to Earth, though many observers believe that the monkey in fact did not return to Earth successfully and the mission had been faked.
Senator John McCain, hearing of the news, sent out a tweet referencing the monkey’s trip, which has left some wondering if McCain’s comment was un-statesmanlike, if not just plain racist.
McCain has followed up with a new tweet, telling people to “lighten up folks, can’t everyone take a joke?”
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