Iran's homegrown, radar-evading stealth fighter jet is flying the very cinematic skies according to Khouz News, a small Iranian news website, as the nation's defense minister continues to fend off the non-believers as false news/Western propaganda. Well, we've got news for him: The only technological miracle in this alleged flight of the Qahar 313 fighter over Mount Damavand is that someone appears to have upgraded to Photoshop CS6 since the last copy-and-paste job went viral:
And how do we know it's Photoshopped? Well, look at this mountain shot from the stock-image site PickyWallpapers.com, which we found through a Google Image search, then lightened:
And, well, look at how one Iranian blogger put two and two together:
The real debunking, of course, we've already reported: Aviation experts made clear last week, amidst the beginning of this propaganda blitz, that the Qahar jet can't fly. Some have pointed out that the new image could just be a mock-up meant as a sort of preview, like a hotel superimposing its design on its new neighborhood. But this thing doesn't even have a nozzle to fuel up, guys!
One thing that Iranian defense officials could hang their high-powered hats on? They are getting better at Photoshop. Remember this blunder from 2008, when their state news agency added an extra missile into a report of an Iranian missile test?
And remember this past November, when they took a Japanese aircraft and turned it into a super-snazzy KOKER-1 drone?
Having learned from those two blunders, the Iranians seem to have learned not to put an extra plane into their photo and also learned the very important lesson not to take someone else's picture and just edit out windmills. And props to using Mount Damavand — that's a local landmark.
So this is slightly embarrassing for anyone in their defense department, sure. But they're still defending every last report, and calling out the Western media for... our Photoshop sleuthing skills?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.