(Reuters) – Iran has successfully launched a live monkey into space, the Fars news agency reported on Monday, lauding it as an advance in a missile and space program that has alarmed the West and Israel.
There was no independent confirmation of the report and there have been no announcements by Western powers of any Iranian launch late last week.
Fars said the monkey was launched into space on a Kavoshgar rocket. The rocket reached a height of more than 120 kilometers and “returned its shipment intact”, Fars reported.
Iran announced plans in 2011 to send a monkey into space, but that attempt was reported to have failed.
Western countries are concerned the long-range ballistic technology used to propel Iranian satellites into orbit could be used to launch atomic warheads. Tehran denies such suggestions and says its nuclear work is purely peaceful.
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