posted on Dec, 21 2005 @ 07:55 PM
In less than two months, Iran hopes to celebrate the birth of cloned sheep, the first such attempt in the Middle East and part of the country's
ambitions _ along with its nuclear and space programs _ to become a regional high-tech powerhouse.
The cloning program has won backing from Iran's Muslim Shiite religious leaders, who have issued religious decrees authorizing animal cloning but
banning human reproductive cloning. A majority of Iran's nearly 70 million people are Shiites.
In contrast, Sunni Muslim religious leaders _ including senior clerics in Saudi Arabia _ have banned cloning altogether, even in animals.
Our final aim of animal cloning is to create ground for new research in the country and prepare Iran scientifically to carry out cloning treatment _
provided global agreements are reached," Ashtiani said.
Under a 20-year development plan, Iran aims to become a base for high technology and a scientific powerhouse in western Asia and a regional dominant
power by 2025.
It is always great to see developing countries developing rapidly in scientific fields.