Wednesday Jan 18, 201704:05 AM GMT
'Iran to send man into space by 2019'
Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:31PM
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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the Islamic Republic has plans to launch its first manned shuttle into the space by 2019.

Ahmadinejad made the announcement on Friday at the closing ceremony of the National Festival of Iranian Youth, a Press TV correspondent reported.

He also said Iran's Sanjesh Satellite would be launched from an Iranian launch pad and controlled by an Iranian control station.

The president added that the project of sending man into space was originally planned to take place in 2035, but the launch date was reviewed in a cabinet meeting this week.

"In response to the enemy's (the United Nations Security Council) resolutions, it was decided that the project be pushed forward by five years," he said.

On June 9, the UN Security Council approved a fourth round of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

The punitive measures were to force Iran into halting its enrichment activities, which Tehran insists to be peaceful and under the full supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The sanctions came less than a month after Iran issued a joint nuclear declaration with Brazil and Turkey based on which Tehran agreed to swap its low-enriched uranium on Turkish soil with nuclear fuel for its research reactor that produces medical radioisotopes.

The European Union, despite voicing support for more talks on Tehran's nuclear issue, is set vote on the adoption of tougher sanctions against Iran on Monday, which will target the country's trade, financial, energy and transport sectors.

They also include visa bans and asset freeze, in particular for Iranian banks, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines.

The new sanctions will be approved in accordance with a June 17 declaration by the European Council, which aims to block oil and gas investment in Iran and curtail the country's refining and natural gas capacity.

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