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The Missile Launcher Vanishes
On July 9, 2008 Iran announced it had successfully test-fired missiles with a range of 1,200 miles. An image of the test-firing (top), showing the launch of four missiles at an undisclosed location in the Iranian desert, was made available by Sepah News, the media arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRG). The image was used by many media outlets, including The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, BBC News, and NYTimes.com.

However, a photo of the test-firing showing only three missiles launching (bottom), emerged the same day. It first appeared on the Iranian news website Jamejam. Closer examination revealed that the first photo had been doctored. One of the missiles (second from the right) had been digitally created by cutting-and-pasting together elements of the other missiles. This was apparently done by the IRG in an attempt to conceal the failure of one of the missiles to launch.

Security experts later speculated that the missiles themselves may not even have been new technology. They may, in reality, have been 10-year-old missiles with only a 900-mile range.
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