Is Iran's new drone really an Israeli aircraft?
Pictures uploaded on Iranian news website appear to be slightly-doctored photos of Israeli drone.
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.
Weighing in at well over a ton, the Israeli-made "Heron" drone is one of the largest UAVs in the world, at over 9 meters long with a wingspan of nearly 17 meters. It is intended for use in long-range tactical missions and can fly for over 30 hours at an altitude of over 6 miles.
Iran's Press TV says the drone will be unveiled during a ceremony in the northern city of Gorgan.
Last year, Iran publicized the launch of missiles they said were capable of hitting Israel. After the test, an image surfaced in all the major media outlets, depicting four missiles being fired simultaneously, an image that quickly raised suspicions that it had been doctored.
The French news agency Agence France-Presse, which originally obtained the image from the Sepah News Web site owned by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, later retracted the photo and replaced it with an image containing only three missiles.
The Associated Press also distributed a photo that appeared to be almost identical to the one displaying four missiles, without the fourth missile.
Also, this past November Israeli analysts told Haaretz that Iran has failed to launch a missile into orbit despite its claims to the contrary.
By Saturday, Press TV had removed the caption that said "An Iranian drone" beneath the picture.