Posted: December 30, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern
With a rash of recent sightings of unidentified flying objects in the Eastern Hemisphere, Russia and Iran have agreed to jointly study the UFO phenomenon.
According to the Islamic Republic News Agency, the two nations are stressing "expansion of bilateral cooperation particularly in space research and construction of satellites."
In addition to the scientific look at UFOs, Russia and Iran are finalizing agreement for the construction of the Zohreh satellite for Iran, which has been on the drawing board for years but has been hampered by bureaucratic obstacles.
News of the UFO study comes as skywatching mania strikes Iran.
This week, the Associated Press reported Tehran's air force was ordered to shoot down any unknown or suspicious flying objects in its airspace amid state-media reports of sightings of flying objects near Iran's nuclear installations.
"Flights of unknown objects in the country's airspace have increased in recent weeks... [they] have been seen over Bushehr and Isfahan provinces," the Resalat daily reported. Nuclear facilities are located in both provinces.
"We have arranged plans to defend nuclear facilities from any threat," air force General Karim Ghavami told the paper. "Iran's air force is watchful and prepared to carry out its responsibilities."
Resalat also reported "shining objects" in the sky near Natanz, where Iran's uranium-enrichment plant is situated. One of those objects is said to have exploded, prompting "panic in the region."
As WorldNetDaily previously reported, Iran has been struck by UFO fever all year long, with dozens of sightings of strange objects.
In April, state-run television broadcast a sparkling white disc flying over Tehran.
People were reported rushing out into the streets in eight towns to watch a bright "extraterrestrial light dipping in and out of the clouds."
The IRNA also reported colorful objects seen beaming out green, red, blue and purple rays over the northern cities of Tabriz and Ardebil and in the Caspian Sea province of Golestan.
In addition to Iran, a number of UFOs – some possibly meteors – have been spotted by citizens of Indonesia, China and Australia.
In May, the Mexican air force released video footage of 11 unidentified flying objects that were only visible via an infrared camera.
The objects reportedly flew around a military surveillance plane.
Jamie Maussan, a journalists and UFO enthusiast, told reporters the objects seemed "intelligent" because at one point they changed direction and surrounded the plane that was chasing them.
"They were invisible to the eye but they were there, there is no doubt about it. They had mass, they had energy and they were moving about," Maussan said after showing a 15-minute video.
"We are not alone! This is so weird," one of the pilots can be heard yelling, Reuters reported. The plane's crew had just switched on the infrared camera after first picking up the objects by radar.