US expresses doubt over Iran's 'successful' monkey space mission

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 05, 2013 05:22 hrs

The United States has raised doubt over Iran's claim that it successfully returned a monkey from space, saying it is questionable that the animal survived, or if the flight happened at all.

State Department spokesman 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.'

According to the Telegraph, Iran has blamed the confusion on the state-run media for initially using a photo of a backup monkey.

It says the monkey orbited and returned safely, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad added that he would consider being Iran's first astronaut in space.

Nuland described Ahmadinejad's proclamation as an 'interesting choice."

Republican Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, joked about Ahmadinejad's ruminations.

"Wasn't he just there last week?" McCain said in a tweet and linked to a story about the space-orbiting monkey, the report said. (ANI)

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