TEHRAN, Iran - A gray-tufted monkey strapped in a pod resembling an infant's car seat rode an Iranian rocket into space and returned safely, officials said Monday in what was described as a step toward Tehran's goal of a manned space flight.
The mission also touched on concerns that advances in Iran's rocket expertise could be channeled into military use for long-range weapons that might one day carry nuclear warheads. Iran says it does not seek atomic weapons.
Launching a live animal into space - as the United States and the Soviet Union did more than a half-century ago - may boost a country's stature. But John Logsden, a space policy professor emeritus at George Washington University, said Iran's achievement should draw no concern.