IRAN (AP) — The U.S. expressed doubts on Monday about Iran's claim of safely returning a monkey from space.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says it's questionable whether the monkey survived or if the flight ever launched.
She signals the monkey whom Iran showed off, was missing a wart seen in photos of the simian before the purported flight.
Tehran blames the confusion on Iranian media for using a photo of a backup monkey. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the monkey orbited and returned safely. The Iranian President added that he'd consider being Iran's first astronaut in space.
Earlier Monday, Sen. John McCain joked about Ahmadinejad in a tweet: "Wasn't he just there last week?" He then linked to a story about the space-orbiting monkey. McCain has since tweeted followers "to lighten up" and "take a joke".