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Ahmadinejad wants to be first Iranian astronaut

Published On: Feb 04 2013 09:01:37 AM CST   Updated On: Feb 04 2013 01:06:56 PM CST
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Iran President

Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah / Reuters

Iran's controversial President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he wants to be the country's first astronaut.

The country declared last week that it had sent a monkey into space, and in 2010 launched an Explorer rocket into space carrying a mouse, a turtle and worms, The Associated Press reported.

Iranian officials hailed last week's launch as a major step toward sending humans into space.

But it also added to western concerns about the country using that same technology to launch nuclear missiles, according to The Guardian.

"I am ready to be the first human to be sent to space by Iranian scientists," the official IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as telling a group of scientists in Tehran gathered to celebrate the country's space achievements.

It's not clear if his suggestion is a serious one, but a Facebook page has already been set up called: "In support of sending Ahmadinejad into space."