The real macaque? Monkey's missing mole raises disturbing questions about Iran launch
AFPTEHRAN--Iran's announcement that it had successfully sent a monkey into space stirred questions on the Internet on Saturday, with people pointing to differences between official images of the primate before takeoff and after landing.
February 4, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
On Jan. 28, official Iranian media published pictures of a monkey named Pishgam (Pioneer) prior to the launch. The animal had light gray fur and a red mole above its right eye.
But later, the ISNA news agency released photos taken during presenting the monkey to the press after its landing which showed a darker fur and no mole.
These differences have been pointed out by Western media, which have questioned the success of the monkey space mission. A previous attempt to send a primate into space failed in 2011.
On Facebook, a comment underneath the monkey's pictures reads: the monkey “went into space and met a doctor who removed its mole,” an ironic reference to some Iranians' passion for cosmetic surgery.