Coming on the heels of an official news release stating it had launched a rocket containing a "life capsule," the government of Iran now boasts it's built the world's first working flying saucer. [Official photo]
The powers-that-be in Tehran—Iran's capital—call their otherworldly craft the "Zohal"—Saturn in English. Why they chose to call it Saturn is anyone's guess.
News stories claim that the advanced craft was displayed to a thrilled and amazed Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, who was attending a state exhibition of "strategic technologies."
The government announcement went on to assert that the Zohal is actually an unmanned spaceship and will be used for surveillance. They claim that while it's primary purpose is for "aerial imaging," it can be adopted and deployed for "various missions."
The rogue government has a penchant for issuing news releases with ominous and cryptic phrases.
Iran's official state media revealed the existence of the purported spaceship Zohal the same day it released information on its rocket launch carrying the so-called life capsule into orbit. The capsule has been engineered to carry a monkey in the future.
News reports claim the life capsule was launched by the Kavoshgar-4 (Explorer-4) rocket to an altitude of 75 miles before it successfully returned.
During 2010 the country announced it had successfully rocketed a mouse, a turtle and a jar of worms into space.
Tehran plans on sending astronauts into space by 2020.
The government-controlled Fars news agency published an official photo of the Zohal flying saucer spaceship. Aviation experts have jokingly compared the photo to B-grade 1950s Hollywood science fiction movies depicting alien saucers.
The Iranian saucer appears to be hovering over wooded terrain.
The Iranian news services failed to report the size or capabilities of the craft. Yet in an offhanded bit of reporting they mentioned that the spaceship can be "flown indoors!"
Belligerent Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, stated to the press that such remarkable technological advances prove the Tehran-based seat of government has the science and technical know-how to push forward and lead the world. He dismissed international sanctions against his country and shrugged off any impediments to the rapidly advancing nuclear program.
Iran is an enigma, a 2,500 year old country that reflects on its great Persian Empire while looking ahead to the 22nd Century. The nation prides itself on technical prowess.
Referring to the saucer-shaped Zohal, ISNA, Iran’s students’ news agency boasted, "Easy transportation and launch and flying, making less noise, are some of the advantages of the device."
ISNA went on to add, "[It belongs] to the new generation of vertical fliers is designed for aerial photography. It is equipped with autopilot, image stabilizer and GPS and has a separate system for aerial recording with full HD quality!"
Many of Iran's super-scientific "accomplishments" smack of old-style Soviet propaganda that Moscow regularly churned out through its state news services during the decades-long Cold War.