JULY 2008

The photo was released by Sepah News, the official online news site of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. 

Numerous American news outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, the Financial Times and the Chicago Tribune, published this image of an Iranian missile launch on their front page. 

The Los Angeles Times photo caption, published on July 10, 2008, read: “Near the Strait of Hormuz: Iran’s Revolutionary Guard released this photo of four of the missiles launched from an undisclosed site in the Iranian desert. Medium- and long-range missiles were tested, including one with a 1,250-mile range.”

Only three of the missiles successfully launched; the fourth was Photoshopped in to hide the missile that failed. Little Green Footballs, an American political blog, discovered the manipulation the day of the photo’s publication, calling it a “Photoshop fake.” 

The Associated Press released the original photo the next day with the fourth missile unlaunched in the center; both Sepah News and Agence France-Presse (AFP) rescinded the photo.

This was not the first time the Iranian state media was charged with altering photographs, in 2007 they were accused of manipulating an image that claimed to show US manufactured weapons in terrorist operations in Iran.

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