By Michael Theodoulou
 

It's not clear how far or how high it can fly – or even how big it is and what makes it take off.

But an aircraft created by scientists in is, they claim, the world’s first flying saucer.

Called the Zohal – or Saturn in English – it said the unmanned is designed for 'aerial imaging' but added it can be used for 'various missions'.

The hardline Fars agency illustrated its story with a photo of a flying saucer, akin to one appearing in a 1950s Hollywood B-, hovering over an unidentified wooded landscape

Space race: Iranian Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants to show his country's development by putting a man in space by 2020

For president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the advances demonstrate Iran's ability to push on with its science programme despite international sanctions over its nuclear programme

The hardline Fars news agency illustrated its story with a photo of a flying saucer, akin to one appearing in a 1950s Hollywood B-movie, hovering over an unidentified wooded landscape.

The reports gave no indication of the spaceship’s size. But they indicated it was small by claiming, somewhat bizarrely, that it can also fly indoors.

'Easy and launch and flying, making less noise, are some of the advantages of the device,' said ISNA, Iran’s students’ news agency.

'The device belonging to the new generation of vertical flyers is designed for aerial photography.

'It is equipped with autopilot, image stabiliser and and has a separate system for aerial recording with full HD quality!'

Iran, which prides itself on its 2,500 year-old civilisation, is also keen to show that it is at the cutting edge of modern science.

Tehran’s ambitious space programme alarms the West because the used to send missiles into space can be used to build intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Last year the country announced it had successfully fired a rocket that carried a mouse, a turtle and worms into space.

Tehran insists it will be able to send a man into space in nine years' time.

For president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the advances demonstrate the country's ability to push on with its science programme despite international sanctions over its nuclear programme.

The flying saucer was said to have been unveiled at an exhibition of 'strategic technologies' attended by Iran’s supreme , Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

At the same time Iran’s Space Agency launched a test spacecraft designed to sustain life in orbit.

The state IRNA news agency said the capsule was carried by a rocket called the Kavoshgar-4 (Explorer-4) 75 miles into orbit before returning to earth.

Iran’s often outlandish scientific claims usually prove difficult to confirm.

American naval forces in the have yet to come across a 'super-modern' radar-evading flying boat Iran claimed to have tested four years ago.