Busted: Iran's Jarring Photoshopped Missile Test Image

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Remember back in 2008, when Iran Photoshopped an extra missile into a photograph of its missile test? Turns out, bad habits die hard. The Atlantic Wire has caught Iran's semi-official Mehr News Agency (MNA) using another digitally-altered image to depict its missile program. Only this time, the image is even more egregiously Photoshopped. 

On the homepage of its website today, the image appears next to a story downplaying the threat of Iran's ballistic missile program. It's a small image but upon closer inspection, you can see that something is amiss.

We've highlighted the story in red:

After downloading the image and uploading it into a Google Image search, we've identified the image Iran is using in the story: 

According to a Google search, that image first appeared on the Internet on July 9, 2008 on a Word Press site called "What the Crap?" That time stamp would've been just after Iran was originally busted for Photoshopping an image of its missile test. During that time, a number of clever news watchers produced a series of prank versions of the Iran missile launch like this one and this one, which transformed the embarrassing episode into a funny Internet meme. Humorously, it appears Iran is now using images from the meme it created to depict its own missile program. Even more humorously, it appears the Photoshopped image MNA picked includes a photo of loathed Star Wars prequel character Jar Jar Binks. Take a closer look:

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Obviously, we can't think of anything dumber than using an image from a meme created to mock your regime in a real-life news story. Then again, this is Iran.

On another note, we should add that today is May 4, otherwise known as Star Wars Day in honor of the 35th anniversary of the film. So, you never know, this could be a way for someone in Tehran to silently celebrate the nerd holiday. If it is, we're sorry we spilled the beans on your prank. We hope President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be merciful and, on a similar note, we hope George Lucas doesn't sue you.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.