Iran Sent One Monkey Into Space and Another Came Back

Aftab the monkey before launch into space

Aftab the monkey before launch into the space. Photo: IRNA

Bloggers and news sources have challenged claims by the Iranian government that they successfully launched a monkey into space and retrieved the animal alive on January 28, 2013. Official images — supposedly depicting the monkey before and after the launch — do not appear to match up, casting further doubt and raising suspicions that the launch may have been fake.

Here is the official footage recorded from a national IRIB Channel 1 broadcast:

Many users on the popular Iranian link-sharing site, Balatarin, say the regime is lying and compare photos of the monkey from before the launch with a photo of the one claimed to have been retrieved from the capsule upon return, highlighting physical dissimilarities between the two.

Here they are:


As seen from the lead photo of this post, as well as the one above (right) the first monkey has a mole on its right eyebrow and has grey and shorter hair around the face, while the second monkey one has no mole and dark brown hair around the face.

Netizens reactions to this report range from total skepticism to conspiracy theories:

Iranian blogger ‘Hagh mosalam ma’ (‘Our definite right’) takes a satirical approach, and draws parallels between the alleged space mission with the 2009 Iranian presidential election that many consider was rigged. He also jokes:

The monkey that was launched into space was [the Supreme Leader's] buddy, the one that returned was acting weirdly. […] Using Photoshop you can send monkeys to Mars, not to mention just outside the atmosphere.

Amir Farshad writes in his Blog ‘Hot Chocolate‘ that:

[President] Mahmood Ahmadinejad gave the nation more good news this week on the advent of Fajr festivities [marking the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution victory]: “We launched a monkey into space and managed to perform an aesthetic surgery to remove his mole up there, and then returned him in good health to the arms of the Supreme Leader.”


  • […] By Hooman Askary from Global Voices […]

  • disqus_Ip4OCLb1Rz

    It is amazing to see that comments are being removed, is this what you call the “Freedom of speech”?

  • disqus_Ip4OCLb1Rz

    Browse YouTube for the launch footage and
    you will see that there’s one unique monkey completing the mission! How
    come no one’s mentioning these films and footage?

    According to the standards applied here,
    most news and articles are fake since journalists use old pictures and images!

  • disqus_Ip4OCLb1Rz

    MacArthur, Ford foundation, Ford
    Foundation….how about JP Morgan , Goldman Banksters?

    The same clans who were involved in the overthrowing of Dr Mossadegh are
    financing the rubbish we’re reading there, “Hagh Mossalam Ma”
    can add “Barayeh Khod forooshi”….

  • what a beast is iranian govenment, it is a pitty beacuse many people who could symphaty with them, are horrified to read such a thing. Poor monkeys. iran is cruel.

  • […] بينما استعان العديد من الإيرانيين (من بينهم الجيش على الأرجح) بموقع فيسبوك للترويج عن الطائرة قاهر 313، رأي العديد من المدونين الصورة فرصة للسخرية والتهكم على النظام الإيراني. بالإضافة إلى مادة أخرى للسخرية وهي صورة أيضاً مزيفة لقرد زعمت إيران أنها أرسلته إلى الفضاء. […]

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