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LA Times Publishes Iran Propaganda Claim, Ignores Fauxtography

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The Los Angeles Times gives credence to Iran’s bogus claim that the US is behind two recent attacks in Iran: Iran alleges U.S. link to militant attack.

TEHRAN — Bullet cartridges bearing a U.S. insignia and English lettering were among the weaponry seized last week from Sunni militants suspected of killing 11 members of Shiite-dominated Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard, Iranian officials said Sunday.

A photo of the cartridge box, along with an array of other ammunition, was published by Iranian newspapers and news agencies.

Iran did not provide access to the weapons and explosives, drawing skepticism from analysts, and there was no way of evaluating the claims independently. But Tehran is clearly worried that the U.S. is quietly helping Iranian opposition groups foment instability, even while the Bush administration is confronting Iran over its nuclear program and accusing it of arming Shiite militants in Iraq.

The Iranian allegations came a week after U.S. officials laid out what they said was evidence of Iranian-made weapons in Iraq. That evidence also was inconclusive, and Iran denied supplying arms to Iraqi combatants.

They include this picture, a screen capture from Iranian TV:

It’s pretty clear that this is the same arrangement of objects as in the doctored photo that was published at Iran’s Fars News:

Comparing the two images gives us even more proof that the Fars News image was altered—if we needed any more to recognize such an obvious fraud. Notice that the AK47 in the LA Times image has been photoshopped out of existence in the bottom image, although you can still see the remnant of its strap and handle. It’s incredibly sloppy work.

UPDATE at 2/19/07 10:22:12 am:

Several readers have pointed out that the grenades in this picture are Russian F1 anti-personnel fragmentation grenades.

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