WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Sen. John McCain took some international politics to Twitter on Monday morning with a joke comparing Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s astronaut dreams to that of a monkey that was sent into space last week.
On his Twitter, Sen. McCain wrote: “So Ahmadinejad wants to be first Iranian in space – wasn’t he just there last week?” and then he linked to the Yahoo article entitled, “Iran launches monkey into space.”
McCain’s post is in response to the Ahmadinejad’s comments that he would be willing to sacrifice his life for Iran’s space program in comments reported Monday by the official IRNA state-run Iranian news agency. Iran claimed last week to have sent a monkey into space, describing the launch as a successful step toward Tehran’s plan to send an astronaut into space within the next five to six years.
The monkey named “Pishgam,” or “Pioneer” in Farsi, allegedly traveled 72 miles into space and then safely returned to Earth.
In response to an influx of Twitter replies and re-tweets, McCain wrote fifteen minutes after the first post: “Iran space tweet – lighten up folks, can’t everyone take a joke?”
The United States government, however, says there’s never been any proof of a successful launch, CBS News reports. There has also been significant speculation that the photos used by Iran to “prove” the mission actually showed two different monkeys.
In 2010, Iran said it launched an Explorer rocket into space carrying a mouse, a turtle and worms.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the sixth and current President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the main political leader of the Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran, a coalition of conservative political groups in the country.