February 5, 2013 in Nation/World

Iran space shot doubted

Bradley Klapper Associated Press
 

WASHINGTON – The United States expressed doubt on Monday about Iran’s claim that it safely returned a monkey from space, saying it is questionable that the monkey survived – or if the flight happened at all.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said a lot of questions remained “about whether the monkey that they reportedly sent up into space and reportedly came down was actually the same monkey, whether he survived.”

“The Iranians said they sent a monkey, but the monkey that they showed later seemed to have different facial features,” Nuland told reporters. “He was missing a little wart.”

Tehran blames the confusion on Iranian media for initially using a photo of a backup monkey. It says the monkey orbited and returned safely, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad added Monday that he would consider being Iran’s first astronaut in space.

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