Iran sends second monkey into space - PHOTO

Iran sends second monkey into space - <span style="color: red;">PHOTO
# 14 December 2013 11:35 (UTC +04:00)

However, the success of the first monkey flight was disputed when a different animal was shown in images released after the landing.

Iran's space programme has raised concern among Western countries.

Some fear the technology could be used in ballistic missiles.

Iran is already under international scrutiny over the scope of its nuclear programme, which opponents say aims to develop nuclear weaponry.

In January, Iran said it had sent a monkey to an altitude of about 120km (75 miles) in a Pishgam rocket for a sub-orbital flight before returning intact to Earth.

But the release of images showing two clearly different monkeys prompted international observers to wonder whether the animal had died in space.

Iran insisted that was not the case, saying archive images of another monkey tested for its suitability for the mission had been wrongly released.

In 2010, Iran successfully sent a rat, turtle and worms into space. But an attempt to send a monkey up in a rocket failed in 2011.