01/02/2013 12:36 GMT | Updated 01/02/2013 16:24 GMT

Is The Iran Space Monkey Rocket Launch A Fake?

Iran proudly announced on Monday that it had successfully launched a monkey into space.

The much publicised event immediately sent trepidation around the world, stoking fears of long-range missiles in the possession of a near-nuclear regime intent on Israel's destruction.

On closer examination, however, it would appear they may have been fibbing.


After the flight and before. Where has the mole and the light band of fur gone?

Photos of the alleged cosmic explorer before and after the launch show some intriguing irregularities.

Pictures from Iranian state television show a monkey with a prominent red mole above its right eye being strapped in for the flight.

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Video from after the flight, released on Tuesday, shows a mole-free primate with slightly different coloured fur.

This raises two possibilites, either the monkey died in flight and was replaced with a live one for the cameras or the flight never happened at all.

Added to the mystery is the lack of confirmation of the rocket's journey by anyone outside of Iran.

Photo gallery Monkeys should never be... See Gallery