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IRAN: Doctored missile image?

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The New York Times is reporting today on its The Lede: Notes on the News blog that a photograph released by Agence France-Presse (AFP) of the Iranian missile launch Wednesday showed one too many missiles. This image was used on the front page of several newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, The Palm Beach Post and Chicago Tribune. The New York Times used the image on the homepage of their Web site.

From The Lede:

Agence France-Presse said that it obtained the image from the Web site of Sepah News, the media arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, on Wednesday. But there was no sign of it there later in the day. Today, The Associated Press distributed what appeared to be a nearly identical photo from the same source, but without the fourth missile.

AFP sent this note on the photos:

ATTN EDITORS - CORRECTIVE REFILE ADDING INFORMATION ABOUT DIGITAL ALTERATION TO IMAGE:A handout picture released on the news website and public relations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Sepah News, shows an image apparently digitally altered to show four missiles rising into the air instead of three during a test-firing at an undisclosed location in the Iranian desert on July 9, 2008. The 2nd Right missile has apparently been added in digital retouch to cover a grounded missile that may have failed during the test.

In the photograph above, released on the online service of the Iranian daily Jamejam today, three missiles rise into the air as a fourth remains on the ground during a test at an undisclosed location in the Iranian desert Wednesday. An apparently altered version of this image was released by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards news website, Sepah News, on Wednesday, which shows a fourth missile in mid-launch in place of the missile on the ground. (AFP / Getty Images)

The photograph above, released on the news website and public relations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Sepah News, has been apparently digitally altered to show four missiles rising into the air, instead of three, during a test-firing Wednesday in Iran. The third missile from the left has apparently been added to cover up the missile on the ground that may have failed during the test. Numerous news outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, published this image. (Iranian Revolutionary Guards)

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--Patrice Roe, Los Angeles


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