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Questions Arise About Veracity Of Iranian Space Monkey

The monkey Iranian authorities said was sent to space.
AFP/Getty Images
The monkey Iranian authorities said was sent to space.

Earlier this week, we told you that Iran was claiming a "major achievement." State media reported the country had sent a monkey into space.

We'll, Britain's Telegraph tells us today that Iran held a press conference in which they welcomed the monkey back to Earth. He was such a rock star that scientists dressed him up in a little tuxedo.

But there appears to be a problem, reports The Telegraph:

"The monkey triumphantly presented to the nation's media in his own silk tuxedo appeared markedly different to the creature that was picture strapped into a rocked prior to its launch into space.

"That animal had light fur and a distinctive red mole over its right eye. But the monkey that returned was dark haired and had no mole."

There are two easy inferences one could make by looking at the side-by-side pictures: Maybe the monkey didn't make back alive. Or perhaps the launch didn't happen at all.

The Iranian government has been known to get creative.

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.