"After many efforts, and after bribing the zoo bouncer... our correspondent managed to interview the Iranian space monkey:"Is your name Aftab ["sun" in Persian], and can we call you that?"Aftab the monkey: I was sent into space from a street named The Glory of Islam, at a cost of a billion toman, bringing the blessing of peace to all space aficionados and to Iran, the breeder of martyrs, and also to the leader of the astronauts, the supporters of the space [program of] in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also to all the monkeys who were martyred on the path to the conquest of the heights of space. [This came] in advance of the 10 days of Fajr [Iranian Revolution Day celebrations] or what people call the 10 days of suffering... You may call me Aftab."What made you decide to become an astronaut?"Aftab the monkey: Truly, we [monkeys] are mistaken in thinking that we want to, or like to, become astronauts and go into space. What does a monkey have to do with space? We belong in the treetops! But after being kidnapped by the sinful soldier brothers of the Imam Zaman [usually referring to the Mahdi; here it is apparently mocking Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei], I was transferred to Evin [Prison], where I spend six months in solitary confinement. After that [came] interrogation by the confession brothers, under the guidance of brother Hossein the interrogator, and I resisted. Ultimately, they brought in a large bear who called me a rabbit. I broke; I volunteered to become an Islamic astronaut in order to destroy the plundering Israel and the imperialist America. I only insisted that they present me as an astronaut who is a member of the Basij. They refused, and I don't know why."All in all, how long did it take you to become an astronaut?"Aftab the monkey: If you count the time I spent in solitary [and in Evin] and in training, I managed to attain this great honor in under a year. Indeed, I [would like to give] special thanks to my brother Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of the state and the servant of Imam Zaman, who was my model in carrying out this divine mission.""Tell us a bit about your training..."Aftab the monkey: After reciting the morning prayer and the verses, and after the fear, I went to a special room with a very high ceiling. After reciting the prayer of Ja'far Al-Tayyar [a hero from early Islam], I put my legs together in a special place and, with an 'Allah Akhbar,' waved my legs in the air. At first, I couldn't gain [even] a meter [in altitude], but with reminders from the cable and the whip, [wielded by] one of the brothers... I managed to break the record, [attaining] 15 meters and 37 centimeters, with the miraculous aid and prayers of the best of the marjaya and the senior ayatollahs."Of course, I fasted every day, and the fast was one of the most difficult and important parts of my training – because in space you can't purify yourself. If, God forbid, overeating causes secretion of filth [i.e. excretion], the entire project will be unclean. Everyone needs to purify themselves in water, according to the Islamic law for the month of Ramadan and every fast day, so that our activity will be pure and untainted, and acceptable to God......"[Share] one memory with our readers."Aftab the monkey: My most vivid memory has to do with the time I had doubts about carrying out religious duties in space. Because, as it is written in the Koran and in the precepts of Islam, these tasks are for performing on earth, and a human was designated as the Messenger of Allah on earth; I, as a space monkey, do not belong, and am not obligated by this. This threw me into a spiritual crisis. Via chat, the brothers read me verses [of the ayatollahs] Safi Golpaygani and Makarem Shirazi, in addition to good advice and explanations of the meaning of and punishment for heresy by these two respected [ayatollahs] – and the light of belief again shone in my heart."And our final question: What do you plan to do next?"Aftab the monkey: I have many plans, the most important of which is sending live Muslims into space, and from there to Paradise, and after that to find a planet with all the [necessary] conditions for holding public prayers."Thank you. Is there anything you want to tell our readers?"Aftab the monkey: My words to young people are to keep these slogans at the forefront of their revolutionary lives: 'The road to Jerusalem leads through Mars'; 'War, war, until the sun in space is conquered'; 'Uranus, Uranus, we are coming'; 'Rocket, rocket to victory'; 'God, God, protect [Ayatollah] Jannati to the next galaxy'..."
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