Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Mehr (4)


Iran Follow-Up: Fars News Apologises for Running Story from The Onion

The original Fars English story, copied directly from The Onion

See also Iran Feature: Fars News and The Onion Agree --- "Rural American Whites Prefer Ahmadinejad to Obama"

On Friday, we featured the story of how Iranian media, including Fars News' English-language site, were headlining, "Gallup Poll: Rural Whites Prefer Ahmadinejad to Obama". The small problem with the breaking news? It was taken from the satirical on-line "newspaper", The Onion.

Today, Fars English's Editor-in-Chief has apologised:

Unfortunately an incorrect item was released on our website on Friday which included a fake opinion poll on popularity rate of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and US President Barack Obama. The news item was extracted from the Satirical Magazine, The Onion, by mistake and it was taken down from our outlook in less two hours.

It is not quite a full retraction, however. The Editor continues, "Although it does not justify our mistake, we do believe that if a free opinion poll is conducted in the US, a majority of Americans would prefer anyone outside the US political system to President Barack Obama and American statesmen."

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Iran Special: Photoshop Propaganda With Lots of Missiles (and Jar Jar Binks!)

You never know when your past propaganda efforts are going to rear up and bite you on the backside. 

Indeed, the editors of the prominent Iranian website Mehr may still not know this.

On Friday, Mehr illustrated a reassuring story about Iran's missile programme --- "French official: No Threat of Europe" --- with an archive photograph of lots of those missiles.

First problem? The image is a Photoshop. In fact, it's not just a Photoshop, it's a Photoshop of a Photoshop.

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Iran Mystery: So How Big Was This Week's Support for Ahmadinejad?

"I went to Ahmadinejad's big rally-and-fire-spitting extravaganza in Karaj today. It was probably the largest gathering he's had, so far as his provincial visits go. There were around 22,000 people present. It was also the first time in two decades Sepah, the Revolutionary Guards, provided security for a government rally in full uniform. There were about 250 officers I could count on the ground. Overall, there were about 3,500 security personnel -- Sepah, NAJA, Basij -- on rooftops, lining the street, at the stadium.

"We heard they had spent $100,000 on billboards and banners the previous week for an event that got cancelled for security reasons. They must have spent the same amount this week. That's a hefty sum in Iran."

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Iran Witness: Journalist Jalali Farahani "We Knew That Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Was Not Re-Elected"

On the night of the election at the Mehr news agency, we knew that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was not reelected because Mehr had reporters in cities across Iran and we were receiving reports every minute about the results in different cities, we knew about the votes Ahmadinejad had received and the votes that went to Mir Hossein Musavi. We even had figures about the ballot boxes from outside the country. 

Around 7 p.m. when we did an approximate count of the vote, we came to the conclusion that Mir Hossein Musavi was the new president. Around 4 p.m. our reporter reported that armed Revolutionary Guards had attacked the central election office of Musavi. 

Imagine, we're there covering the news and we're receiving all these reports, around 6 p.m. a friend of mine who worked at the "Iran" daily called me and said that the manager of the paper had told all the staff to come to work to prepare a special issue for the victory of Ahmadinejad -- the election process had not ended at this point. 

That night was the worst night of my career, not only me but for all my colleagues -- even those who supported Ahmadinejad who were only a few at the Mehr news agency -- they could see that there was fraud.

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