Iran said on Monday it had launched a live monkey into space, seeking to show off missile systems that have alarmed the West because the technology could potentially be used to deliver a nuclear warhead.The Defence Ministry announced the launch as world powers sought to agree a date and venue with Iran for resuming talks to resolve a standoff with the West over Tehran’s contested nuclear programme before it degenerates into a new Middle East war. Efforts to nail down a new meeting have failed repeatedly and the powers fear Iran is exploiting the diplomatic vacuum to hone the means to produce nuclear weapons.
The Islamic Republic denies seeking weapons capability and says it seeks only electricity from its uranium enrichment so it can export more of its considerable oil wealth.
The powers have proposed new talks in February, a spokesman for the European Union’s foreign policy chief said on Monday, hours after Russia urged all concerned to “stop behaving like children” and commit to a meeting.
Iran earlier in the day denied media reports of a major explosion at one of its most sensitive, underground enrichment plants, describing them as Western propaganda designed to influence the nuclear talks.
The Defence Ministry said the space launch of the monkey coincided “with the days of” the Prophet Mohammad’s birthday, which was last week, but gave no date, according to a statement carried by the official news agency IRNA.
The launch was “another giant step” in space technology and biological research “which is the monopoly of a few countries”, the statement said.
The small grey monkey was pictured strapped into a padded seat and being loaded into the Kavoshgar rocket dubbed “Pishgam”(Pioneer) which state media said reached a height of more than120 km (75 miles).
“This shipment returned safely to Earth with the anticipated speed along with the live organism,” Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi told the semi-official Fars news agency. “The launch of Kavoshgar and its retrieval is the first step towards sending humans into space in the next phase.“There was no independent confirmation of the launch.
Copyright © 2014 euronewsMore about:
- 1Heavy fighting in Donetsk; possible mass grave discovered
- 2Catalan independence put on hold: constitutional court suspends vote
- 3Migrant deaths in Mediterranean reach a record 3,072 in 2014
- 4Red alert in southern France as heavy rains sweep Languedoc region
- 5Spain: Constitutional court votes to suspend Catalonia independence referendum
- 1Algeria: ISIL offshoot releases video threatening French hostage Hervé Gourdel
- 2Update: Emma Watson nude photos threat may be elaborate PR stunt
- 3Iceland volcano ‘pollutes Paris’
- 4Teenage ‘terror suspect’ shot dead by police in Australia after attacking officers
- 5Watch: Leonardo DiCaprio speech among five must-see clips on UN climate summit
- 1Podemos: Spanish indignation in Brussels’ corridors of power | euronews, reporter
- 2Watch: Angry mob throw Ukraine MP into rubbish bin | euronews, world news
- 3Iraq: Baghdad rally held against US ‘occupiers’ | euronews, world news
- 4New car offers freedom for disabled drivers | euronews, hi-tech
- 5Now is ‘right time’ for Catalonia independence vote, says Mas | euronews, world news
- 6Israel announces it will seize 400 acres in West Bank | euronews, world news
- 73D printing: a driving force in design and engineering | euronews, hi-tech
- 8Rise of the machines | euronews, futuris
- 9Ukraine: Donetsk rebel weapons factory blows up | euronews, world news
- 10Young Yazidi girl escapes Islamic State kidnappers | euronews, world news
- 11Vatican rocked by another paedophilia scandal | euronews, world news
- 12Two container ships collide on Egypt’s Suez Canal | euronews, no comment
- 13Algeria: ISIL offshoot releases video threatening French hostage Hervé Gourdel | euronews, world news
- 14#Indyref Live: Scotland votes on independence from UK | euronews, world news
- 15Thousands ‘evade’ Ebola lockdown in Sierra Leone | euronews, world news
- 16British Muslims’ message to ISIL: Not in my name! | euronews, world news
- 17Iceland puts on a show as two of its volcanoes spew out lava | euronews, world news
- 18The business benefits of EU chemical regulation | euronews, business planet
- 19Iceland volcano ‘pollutes Paris’ | euronews, world news
- 20Emma Watson threatened with naked photos leak after UN equality speech | euronews, world news
Wires > News
- 12:19 CET Russia sees chance of six-party talks on North Korea resuming
- 12:07 CET Indebted to America, Kosovo struggles to curb Islamist recruits
- 11:47 CET Shells hit school playground and nearby street in Ukraine city…
- 11:42 CET Coalition jets strike Islamic State near Turkish border – Kurdish…
- 11:00 CET Gunmen wound Saudi policeman in Shi’ite Muslim stronghold – agency
- 09:42 CET France defies EU partners with ‘no austerity’ budget
- 09:16 CET Syria-linked militants release Lebanese soldier – sources, media
- 09:05 CET Thai junta approves $3 billion stimulus to spur growth – PM