Iran's president has again claimed to have sent a monkey into space as part of the country's manned space flight programme, AFP news agency reported.

According to Hassan Rouhani's official website statement published on Saturday, the monkey named Fargam or Auspicious in Farsi was returned to earth safely. 

The website did not specify when the mission took place, but reported that the launch of the rocket dubbed Pajohesh or Research was Iran's first use of liquid fuel.

Previous claims

In January, Iran reported its first alleged mission involving a monkey being sent into space. Pishgam or pioneer reportedly reached a height of 120 kilometres.

However, one of two official packages of photos of the simian space traveller depicted the wrong monkey, raising doubts among international observers as to whether the launch was as successful as reported.

Iran frequently claims technological breakthroughs that are impossible to independently verify.

The Islamic Republic has said it seeks to send an astronaut into space as part of an ambitious aerospace programme.

The US and its allies worry that technology from the space programme could also be used to develop long-range missiles that could potentially be armed with nuclear warheads.

Source: AFP