Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a speech to the Tehran Knights of Columbus earlier this week that he and his government are not monkeying around. They are confident they can reach Pandora by the year 2020, and outlined his vision for a world where Iran can fly into space: “There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in Pandora as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, Pandora? Why choose this and its unspoiled reserves of Unobtainium as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, five years ago, use a telephone with no wires? Why does Sepahan play Tractor Sazi for the Persian Gulf Cup?
“We choose to go to Pandora. We choose to go to Pandora in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of Iran’s energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept or kill others while trying, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”
When asked about funding for the Iranian space program, Ahmadinejad said he and his neighbors were planning a really big garage sale next month to help out, and he expected Girl Scout cookie sales this year “to really be big, so that should get us through the end of 2014.”