On July 1, 2012, The Sunday Times (subscription only) published a story on three days of Iranian missile tests and a threat to wipe Israel “off the face of the earth” in the event that the Jewish state attacks it. Take a look at the accompanying AFP photo:
What was The Sunday Times thinking? As far back as July 2008, the photo above had been exposed as doctored by the Iranian regime.
Here is the original photo that was distributed by Associated Press:
The photo used by The Sunday Times first appeared on the web site of Sepah News, the PR news service of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and appeared on many media outlets back in 2008. As the New York Times blog The Lede explained:
the second missile from the right appears to be the sum of two other missiles in the image. The contours of the billowing smoke match perfectly near the ground, as well in the immediate wake of the missile. Only a small black dot in the reddish area of exhaust seems to differ from the missile to its left, though there are also some slight variations in the color of the smoke and the sky.
AFP quickly retracted the photo and even published a follow up on its investigation:
After being shown the photograph by AFP, Mark Fitzpatrick of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said: “It very much does appear that Iran doctored the photo to cover up what apparently was a misfiring of one of the missiles.
“The whole purpose of this testing was to send a signal so Iran both exaggerated the capabilities of the missile in their prose and apparently doctored the photos as well.”
So if the photo was retracted 4 years ago and had been exposed as a piece of fauxtography meant to bolster Iranian propaganda, why has The Sunday Times reprinted it in 2012?
Take action and ask The Sunday Times to remove this Iranian doctored photo – email@example.com