Did Iran doctor missile photos?

A blogger noticed something fishy about smoke formations in a launch photo.

iran photoshop (photo credit:)
iran photoshop
(photo credit: )
Images of Iran's latest round of missile tests have been proudly posted on official media outlets in the Islamic Republic and circulated around the world, but an attentive American blogger was the first to notice something fishy about the identical formations of dust and smoke that appear underneath the rising projectiles in a launch photograph. Iranian state news outlets said the picture showed four long- and medium-range missiles lifting off in the heart of the Iranian desert on Wednesday, but Charles Johnson of the Little Green Footballs blog wrote, "At least one of the photographs released today by Iran and published by an unquestioning Western media has been Photoshopped." The picture was released by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards - but apparently in two versions. The first showed only three missiles taking off, and the fourth failing to launch. The hurriedly reissued picture showed all four missiles airborne. The Jerusalem Post asked the veteran Tel Aviv-based photographer and image expert Gideon Sella to examine the apparently doctored Iranian photograph. "This is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a cloned missile," Sella said. "It is not possible for the smoke trails, both on the ground and in the air, to be identical." He described the image as "a sloppy Photoshop job." Some news agencies on Thursday withdrew the picture of the four airborne missiles. Johnson's blog was the first to note that a Reuters image of smoke rising from a Beirut site targeted by the IAF during the Second Lebanon War in 2006 had been doctored to show an additional plume of smoke. That image was consequently withdrawn and the photojournalist who provided it suspended.