Iranians expanding the Photoshop Gap

Haaretz has discovered why the Iranians spend a miniscule amount of money on national defense, as Barack Obama once claimed during the presidential campaign.  Instead of building actual systems, they just copy photos of other nations’ weapons and claim them as their own.  Tehran’s official news agency announced the release of a new drone, but it bears a very, very, very close resemblance to someone else’s — and you’ll never guess who:

Iranian state-run news agency Press TV ran a story on its website this week praising the unveiling of an Iranian-made drone, that according to the Israeli daily Maariv bears a striking resemblance to an earlier photo taken in Israel of an Israeli-made drone.

In an article run this week on the Maariv website, the photo used by Press TV of the Iranian drone is shown above a remarkably similar photo from Israel Aerospace Industries of the Heron 1 Israeli drone. The two photos appear to be exactly the same, with the angle of the shot and the clouds in the background identical in appearance.

What a breakthrough!  Iran hails Israeli military technology!  Peace is closer at hand than ever!

Haaretz reminds its readers that Iran has had some adventures with official photographs before.  A photo from a rocket test last November was doctored to show more rockets firing simultaneously and to cover up a misfire.  Agence France-Presse got suckered by that one, and had to issue an apology and a retraction. This time around, Iran had to withdraw the photo after it became clear that Press TV had published the picture of the Heron.

Supposedly, the Iranians will launch their own drone this week.  Maybe they plan to use a big picture of the Heron and turn it into a paper airplane.  Omri Ceren notes, though, that not everything Iran does is a fake, and that drones won’t be the big threat, real or not.