Iran claims launch of flying saucer

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Iranian scientists are claiming to have built a functioning flying saucer, state news service Farsnews reports.

As you'll see from the photograph, they're a little further behind in the development of a functioning camera.

But Farnas Aerospace Company and Iranian Aviation and Space Industries Association (IASIA) say that the unmanned device, named Zohal - Arabic for Saturn - has been successfully demonstrated to the supreme leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

Zohal comes equipped with an auto-pilot system, GPS and two separate imaging systems with full HD 10 mega-pixel picture quality. It can take and send images simultaneously.

We can't help suspecting that making the leap to a manned version might be a little difficult - given that the comnpanies say that Zohal can fly indoors as well as out, the little green men would need to be really very little indeed.

Other local news reports say its suitable for many different types of mission, and for aerial imaging in particular.

Iran is keen to publicize its technical prowess, despite international scepticism and  sanctions barring it from a nuclear program. Last year it launched a small petting zoo into space, and officials claim that the country will be ready to put a man into space by 2020.

Iran needs its own UFOs, having claimed to have shot down several enemy ones in 2009.