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A screenshot from Khouz News' site picturing the photo accused of being fake.

Did Iranian news site Khouz News publish a Photoshopped picture of a fighter jet above snow-covered mountains?

Some in Iran say so, France 24 reported.

The photo of the jet apparently came from an “unveiling” earlier this month, while the mountainous background looks like a photo from “stock-image site PickyWallpapers.com,” according to the Atlantic Wire.

See below Mashregh News’ photo of the early February “unveiling” of the jet (via France 24).

This image of the jet was published in early February and looks similar to the jet.  (Credit: Mashregh News via France 24, screenshot)

“Savvy Iranian Internet users quickly realised the photo of the jet was clearly one taken during the jet’s unveiling two weeks ago in Tehran, and superimposed onto a photo of Damavand mountain,” France 24 reported.

 

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The stock image background above looks a lot like the background of the Khouz News-released photo of the jet flying. (Credit: PickyWallpapers.com, screenshot)

The Guardian noted that the Photoshop claim is significant because “The new jet has been widely mocked by aviation experts outside Iran as a plastic model rather than a real jet.”  Several news sites also pointed to Italian-language blog The Aviationist, which detailed in a Feb. 4 blogpost “Here’s why Iran’s new stealth fighter jet can not fly.”

France 24 and the Atlantic Wire pointed to a history of Photoshop with Iran’s news outlets.  For example, “Last November, Iran’s news agency Photoshopped an image of a Japanese drone and claimed it as Iran’s,” according to France 24.

In that case, the Telegraph explained Iran’s photo of what it says was its “vertically launching drone” was actually a 2008 Japanese-built drone.  And, in October, Iran’s Press TV reportedly used a still image from The Day After Tomorrow in a report on Hurricane Sandy.

And, another notable fake photo from Iran showed four missiles in the air, but in reality the photo only showed three missiles.  In 2008, Agence France Presse retracted the photo.  Oddly, in July 2012, the UK Sunday Times used the photo to accompany with a story “Iran Issues Stark Threat to Israel.”

In October, Iran’s Fars News Agency apologized after lifting — without credit — a satire story from The Onion saying “Gallup Poll: Rural Whites Prefer Ahmadinejad to Obama.”

iMediaEthics is writing to Khouz News for comment and will update with any response.

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