Iran Considers Sending A Cat Into Space

TEHRAN, Iran (September 16, 2013)--Iran says it is considering sending a Persian cat into space after it earlier claimed it launched a monkey earlier this year.

The effort is part of Iranian ambitions to send a human into space by 2018, but questions have been raised about the reported successes of Iran's animal missions.

Monday's report by the official IRNA news agency quoted space official Mohammad Ebrahimi as saying the next animal could be the distinctive Persian cat, a long-haired, flat-faced breed named after Iran's former name of Persia, but no other details were provided.

In February, Iran insisted it successfully sent a monkey outside earth's atmosphere and returned it safely, but photos raised international questions about whether the same animal was shown in pre- and post-launch images.

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